Fighting social injustice and systemic racism begins with each of us individually. These issues can be extremely overwhelming, and for many, making even a small amount of change may seem like a daunting task. Our advice: Do what you can in your corner of the world. An easy place to start is at work. Think about your workplace and/or industry and identify ways in which you can create change.
As the Development committee, we have taken note of YPs leading the charge within their companies and industries as thought leaders and creatives to bring awareness to diversity, equity and inclusion. Two examples are below.
One of our committee members works in higher education, specifically in career services. One topic she decided to research, discuss and disseminate is that of the racial wage gap in our region. She used this data and research to educate students so that they can better advocate for themselves when having initial salary conversations upon being hired. It is also used in her work with recruiters, so that they can take the information back to their companies and ensure they are using fair hiring practices.
Another committee member works at a marketing group in Omaha. She, along with some fellow YPs, felt it necessary to start having deeper conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, since the work they do impacts so much of what consumers in our community see. Led by a group of YP’s, they started a task-force type group to start the conversations and start doing the work. They all recognize that a lot of change starts at an individual level and that individual learning and growing takes time and effort, but are excited to start the journey of mapping out initiatives that will make lasting impact, not just for right now, but for years to come.
We hope you are inspired by these two examples of YPs taking steps to make a difference in their workplace, and being thought leaders in their industries. Keep an eye out for Council of Companies programming later this summer, in which we will discuss how to start and sustain a YP group (or other ERG) within your company. This could be a great first step toward affecting change in your company.