How Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Hearings Reinforced the Need for Racial Equity in the Workplace
No matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, this moment is historic. A Black woman sitting on the Supreme Court for the first time in 232 years is groundbreaking, and Edgility is celebrating.
Many Black women across the country watched in solidarity as Ketanji Brown Jackson gracefully navigated through often peripheral questions about her qualifications and experience during her Senate confirmation hearings. While the process is a fairly superficial cross-examination by all parties, the excruciating lengths that certain members of Congress went to evoke embarrassment and discomfort upon Jackson is unfortunately familiar to many women of color in America. Often held to similarly unfair standards, many women of color have felt chronic discrimination in the workplace with lack of inclusion by coworkers, surprising or inexplicable performance improvement plans by supervisors, and an unfair measuring stick across every move.
In a recent report, it is stated that one in three women of color is ready to leave their job, and 75% believe that DEI initiatives won’t improve racial inequity. And while plenty of organizations have made a firm commitment to DEI initiatives, unfortunately, many haven’t put forth a genuine plan that works.
Companies may have hired DEI Directors or perhaps created dedicated Slack channels for employee resource groups. However, many have yet to look at salary inequities or promote people of color to their boards or leadership teams. And despite increased Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives nationwide, Black women, on average, are still paid 63 cents to every dollar paid to non-Hispanic white men. Unfortunately, without thoughtful examination of how resources are typically allocated to disproportionately favor white males—DEI initiatives can often times do more harm than good.
Building true equity in the workplace by thoughtfully evaluating and placing highly qualified women and people of color in leadership positions is a core tenet of our work at Edgility. What was reflected on the historic day Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to sit on the nation’s highest court is what we hope to see become more commonplace in all aspects of our life. In the office, on leadership boards, in our government and on television and movie screens. Until then, we will revel in the joy that Jackson has earned–and use it as a guiding star for the work that lies ahead.