3 Effective Approaches to Managing Across Racial Differences

More and more, companies and organizations are hiring Chief Diversity Officers, building out their strategies to retain diverse talent, and acknowledging the importance of developing teams that are comprised of individuals from different backgrounds. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where scrolling through the headshots of the leadership team on a company’s website and realizing that they’re all white men actually makes you scratch your head and wonder how they missed the boat. But it’s not enough to prioritize diversity hiring efforts. Truthfully, diversity efforts without well thought out and executed inclusion efforts can cause more harm than good to minority employees who end up feeling tokenized and isolated.

Managing across lines of racial difference isn’t just about white managers overseeing their minority direct reports, though. It’s also about the increasing number of Black managers who lead teams of white employees. Without either party developing a true understanding and comfort level with nuanced cultural differences, preferences and norms, employees on both ends can feel like they’re not being developed, supported or invested in the ways that they need to be, leaving no one happy. Here are a few tips for building stronger manager relationships  with this in mind:

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Becoming a Boss at 23 | Meet Rae Burgess, Founder of Professional Motives

Happy #BlackMagicMonday! Meet Rae Burgess, entrepreneur, public speaker, event planner, and strategist. At only 23, Rae has started and led multiple successful businesses, mentored Black women who are interested in starting their own businesses, and continues to redefine and challenge her personal bar for success.

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Honest Inspiration, Black Female Empowerment, and a New Era of Racial Justice | What We’re Loving This Week

In a world where bad news is constantly drowning out good news, I’ve found it to be a healthy practice to carve out intentional time each week to reflect on the things that inspired you, brought you joy, and made you think.

That being said, this is the first installment of a new weekly series called What We’ve Loving This Week, a run-down of books, articles, blogs, people, and products that Black professionals should be loving! So let’s get right into it!

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#BlackMagicMondays | Meet Joy Monet Kajogbola!

We are beyond excited to launch a new series called #BlackMagicMondays, where we will be featuring inspiring Black professionals who demonstrate and embody the essence of #blackprofessionalmagic in their lives everyday! While one of the key purposes of this blog is to provide critical insight and into the systems and institutions that we all engage within everyday, another important purpose is to elevate the authentic stories, perspectives, voices and accomplishments of Black professionals, to continue to show the world how magical and powerful we are.

So, without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to today’s #BlackMagicMondays feature, Joy Monet Kajogbola!

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Learning to Play the Game to Change the Game

This week, I’ve had the privilege of attending the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 46th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. Here, I’m surrounded by inspiring, Black change-agents who are all working tirelessly to eradicate the social and systemic injustices that plague our community.  For a few days, we don’t feel like minorities. We look around rooms full of positional power, and we see ourselves. For a few days, we don’t have to justify our feelings or make a case for our perspectives; we don’t have to code switch or rework our standpoints so they fit within the unspoken dominant expectation. For a few days, we are surrounded by a sea of raw, authentic, beautiful Blackness. And it feels good.

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3 Characteristics of Inclusive Workplaces

Being Black in a profession that requires specialized training and/or credentialing is a complex and inevitably isolating experience. Despite companies and organizations ramping up diversity efforts in recent years, the white-collar workforce is still overwhelming white. 8 out of every 10 lawyers are white; 80.8% of social scientists are white; 78.2% of education professionals are white; nearly three-quarters of business professionals are white; over 70% of healthcare professionals, engineers, and physical scientists are white. The list goes on and on.

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Deconstructing the ‘Reverse Racism’ Rhetoric

 

It’s all good until people of color start coming for what has historically been explicitly reserved for white people.

As we’re all aware, we have a long, disturbing, brutal history of racism in our country. The construct of race itself was created to ensure white people would consistently benefit from the systems of our government, while guaranteeing the opposite outcome for people of color. It’s important to understand that the fight for racial justice and reconciliation didn’t begin with this idea of “leveling the playing field” that is often discussed in race relations today. Instead, it began with the desire to just be seen and treated as human. It began with the yearning to not live in a constant state of fear. It began as a fight for survival.

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