Over the last couple of years, many organizations have put DEI efforts at the forefront of their business plans. Companies are making a conscious effort to create truly inclusive corporate cultures through education, conversation, and beyond. Michael Page is no exception.
This past February, we hosted various events and held conversations, both internally and externally, about the Black experience in corporate America. This programming was very well-received, and we wanted to share our success in hopes that it will help other businesses create an authentic change around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
One thing we want to note is that all of our programming was led by our Black team members. Their vision and voices were at the forefront of everything you’ll read about below.
Internal and External Webinars
Throughout February, we held four webinars covering specific topics. The first was “Black in Corporate America,” in which five external speakers discussed their experiences of being Black in an office environment. These professionals shared their feelings about allyship, told stories about speaking up when colleagues made racist remarks, and gave advice about how companies both fail and succeed in their DEI efforts.
One office even hosted a live screening session of the panel and partnered with a local Black-owned brewery.
Our second external webinar, “Black in Construction,” was a conversation about the Property and Construction industry. Our five speakers held a “barbershop-style” talk covering the various hurdles they’ve had to deal with, advice they would give to their younger self, the great potential they share when working with other Black people in the industry, and how they can bring more Black women into construction.
Our other two webinars we held were internally and, led by Black professionals within Michael Page. For both webinars, employees were given the space to share openly and honestly. The first webinar, entitled “Check Your Privilege”, focused on what it means to hold privilege in today’s society.
The second internal webinar, also called, “Black in Corporate America,” featured several Black employees who shared their first-hand experiences dealing with code switching, authenticity at work, and the benefits of being a minority in majority white spaces.
Facilitating Conversations Internally
Each week in February, we shared content with our teams though a campaign we called, “All Black Everything: The Black Experience Front and Center.” These weekly newsletters were filled with information about everything from bias in the recruitment process and intersectionality, to must-read books by Black authors.
The newsletters were meant to both educate and facilitate engaging conversations between colleagues who may not normally talk about these important topics in the workplace.
Several of our offices created breakout events using the newsletter topics as points of discussion.
Making a Pledge
To round out our recognition and celebration of Black History Month through our Community Pledge. ,
Leaders within our business committed to supporting local Black-owned businesses in each of our regions across the United States and Canada. This is meant to foster community engagement at the local level and get our offices involved in a meaningful way.
Things to Bear in Mind
The path to true inclusion is not a quick one, and shortcuts are not recommended or encouraged. Michael Page, like many other organizations, is trying to take the right steps toward that goal. Conversations and actions like these are just the beginning.
Remember that talking about the Black experience should not be an annual practice that ends on the first day of March. While Black History Month is a wonderful opportunity to focus on this topic, the conversation should keep going. We plan to do just that as the year goes on.
If you find this kind of content meaningful, please keep an eye out for our upcoming programming for Women’s History Month in March, as well as future DEI campaigns and efforts. You can connect with us here, or on our social media channels.
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