How Corporate America is Trying to Foster More Real Talk About Race
Accenture North America CEO Julie Sweet remembers the day, in July 2016, when she realized a message to her employees wasn't going to be enough. It was after the shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota by police officers and after the shooting of Alton Sterling by police in Baton Rouge, La.
"We were hearing from our African American and Hispanic American employees about how hard it was to come to work -- I remember one said the silence was deafening," she recalls. And then Dallas happened, where five police officers were shot by a gunman. Though she sent out a message to employees, "I felt like it wasn’t enough. You can be diverse and hire a lot of people, but you are not inclusive if people don't feel like they can talk about the tough issues like race at work that affect their lives."
Within two weeks, she convened a virtual and physical meeting hosted via webcast and then led discussions in at least eight major cities, inviting all the firm's employees to have a candid conversation about race.
Read more about Accenture's experience, as well as those of other companies such as PwC, Duke Energy, and Nationwide Insurance in building safe spaces to discuss race: