To facilitate this opportunity, organizations might create a database current employees can use to build upon and expand their networks. Additionally, companies can stay in touch with past employees via newsletters, notices of job openings and invitations to casual meetings and networking sessions.
4. Prioritize inclusive hiring by building partnerships with outside organizations
When companies collaborate with organizations that have strong relationships with learners and workers of color, workplaces build trust, raise awareness and provide more equitable access to professional opportunities while recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce.
Potential partners might include historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), organizations like UOPX that are committed to DEIB efforts (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging), nonprofits such as the OneTen coalition or platforms such as Mentor Spaces.
5. Include minority voices when drafting and implementing inclusivity programs
Despite progress, American workplaces continue to reflect instances of discrimination and exclusivity. According to a report by AEI titled “The Social Workplace: Social Capital, Human Dignity, and Work in America,” 10% of workers have heard a sexist joke and 8% have heard a racist joke “in the past week.” Unsurprisingly, workers exposed to racist and sexist comments are less satisfied in their jobs. Yet managers, especially in predominantly white organizations, may not understand the impact of microaggressions on minority workers’ well-being and career outcomes.
Kimberly M. Underwood, PhD, university research chair of the Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Research at UOPX, explains, “Many companies focus strategies around one or two elements of professional social capital development, such as mentoring or training. However, developing a comprehensive plan requires companies proactively seek to understand the needs of employees of color through the voices of this population. This is sorely missing from the equation of professional social capital development.”
But this change may well be underway as social capital becomes increasingly discussed — and examined — in the public sphere.