Last month, Starbucks closed 8,000 stores to conduct racial-bias training, prompted by a well-publicized incident in April. This has many practices, both big and small, thinking about what – if any – procedures they have in place for dealing with discrimination. Below are just a few examples of how you can begin to combat racism in the workplace.
When it comes to sifting through candidates for a new job opening, we recommend doing blind screening. Do this by asking candidates to omit their name on resumes and cover letters so that recruiters’ personal biases don’t interfere with the best candidate getting the job.
Some companies no longer ask candidates about their criminal history, but instead waiting to do a background check until after a face-to-face interview occurs and a conditional job offer is made.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommends regular training by employers about laws that prohibit discrimination and harassment in the workplace. This is especially important for practices who have had run-ins with discrimination issues in the past. Employees should understand that not only is discrimination immoral, in many cases it is unlawful.
Trainings can focus on not just on employment laws, but how collaboration between diverse groups actually improves productivity and workplace relationships.
Develop a clear zero-tolerance policy for handling cases of racism and harassment – this is the most effective way to minimize instances of discrimination. Refer to civil rights laws like Title VII, the Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Make sure your practice’s mission and policies are in line with the above laws in order to demonstrate to the community that your practice values diversity and social responsibility.
How does your practice combat racism and other forms of discrimination? Share in the comments below.