Meeting in a Box: Black History Month

Our cultural competence toolkit focused on Black History Month.

This Meeting in a Box tool is designed for distribution to all employees. You may use portions of it or all of it.

During this time, employees may not know how to address racial issues in the office. But today's climate has changed. Employees may feel they cannot bring their whole selves to work if they don't think racial issues are up for discussion in the office. This is not true — as long as it's done the right way.

For this reason we are providing additional resources for all employees along with this MIB.

As always, we are providing our Timeline, highlighting events pertaining to Blacks throughout our nation's history and up to the present, as well as our Facts and Figures, giving information on Blacks in corporate America, education statistics and financial figures.

In addition, we are providing links to a host of articles and videos all centered around career advice for Blacks as well as best practices in how companies just like yours are addressing — rather than ignoring — today's racially charged climate. These companies have successfully navigated these real, sometimes painful, conversations.

CLICK HERE to view/download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.

1. Timeline

The unique history of Blacks in the United States is the clearest indication of evolving human-rights values and represents a moral and economic battle that split this nation.

Discussion Questions for Employees

Black History Month started in 1926. Is it still relevant to have a month-long celebration?

Your guided discussion should focus on the many contributions Blacks have made to U.S. history and the continued debate about whether one month is sufficient. Point to examples of recent groundbreaking events. Discussions on new achievements, challenges and victories are always relevant.

Why are “firsts" important to note? What other barrier breakers have you witnessed in your lifetime?

This personal conversation will help employees note additional events that they may not have been aware of.

How does understanding the past help us deal with the present?

Can similarities be drawn between civil rights activism during the era of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the goals of today's Black Lives Matter activists?

To view/download a PDF of the Timeline click here.

2. Facts & Figures

Our Facts & Figures section highlights statistics on Blacks in corporate America, as well as disparities among races in educational attainment and income. Where applicable, national data are compared with DiversityInc Top 50 data to show what progress the leading companies are making.

Discussion Questions for Employees

What does it take to move into the senior-executive pipeline at your company? Do you think it's important for younger managers to have role models who look like them?

Discuss the increase — or lack thereof — of Blacks in various management roles. Analyze the benefits of not only cross-cultural mentoring relationships but also the benefits of Black employees having managers and bosses who look like them.

The Black community represents an increasing share of the consumer marketplace. What efforts are you undertaking to reach Black consumers or clients?

As the population grows more diverse, so does your company's need to be able to serve people of all races, ethnicities and backgrounds. Discuss how critical it is to have client/customer-facing staff members who mirror the communities. How active are your resource groups in community, marketplace and client outreach?

To view/download a PDF of the Facts & Figures click here.

3. Career Advice From Black Executives

A reader survey found that 68% of non-whites feel strongly about receiving career advice from individuals who look like them, while whites don't mind who the advice comes from. Access the survey results here.

Below is career advice from accomplished Black executives on things to focus on to develop your career.

4. Microaggressions

A microaggression is a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously, or unintentionally, expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group.

Below are videos on how to handle microaggressions.

How to Respond to 'I Don't See Color in the Workplace'

5. Leadership Profiles

Black executives give insights on how they developed and maintained a successful career.

6. Racial Discussions in the Office

Webinar: Should Senior Leaders Address Racial Tensions in the U.S.?

EY gives insights into why senior business leaders should address racial tension in the U.S. in their organizations.

Women of Color and Their Allies

On Oct. 2, 2018 in Atlanta, DiversityInc brought together top corporate executives, across various industries, to have frank conversations about the challenges women of color face in corporate America.

Kavanaugh vs. Ford

A tale of a complete lack of diversity causing bad decisions, and shifting opinions nationwide, as well as a teachable moment for corporate America.

By DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti

Having zero diversity, and by trying to make it "Kavanaugh vs. Ford," the old, white Republican men lost control of the nomination, and made it about them versus all women, a situation that, at best, will be a Pyrrhic victory.

Read More Show Less

Meeting in a Box: National Hispanic Heritage Month 2018

From current events to the rise of Hispanic buying power, this Meeting in a Box provides valuable, up-to-date information just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Contributors: Keka Araujo and Christian Carew

This Meeting in a Box tool is designed for distribution to all employees. You may use portions of it or all of it. Each section is available as a separate PDF; you can forward the entire document or link to it on DiversityInc Best Practices; or you can print it out for employees who do not have Internet access.

Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, the perfect time to increase your entire company's awareness of the very diverse group of people called Hispanics or Latinos; their contributions to U.S. business, government and society; the importance of understanding immigration issues; and the culturally competent way to recruit, retain and engage Latino employees.

We are supplying a Timeline of legislation and events impacting Latinos and their achievements in the United States and Facts & Figures demonstrating Latino advancement (and opportunities) in government, education, business, sports and entertainment. This information should be distributed to your entire workforce and also should be used by your Hispanic/Latino employee resource groups both internally and externally as a year-round educational tool.

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers andDiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

1. Timeline

We recommend you start your employees' cultural-competence lesson on Hispanics/Latinos by using this Timeline, which documents discrimination and oppression of different Latino groups in the United States as well as achievements. It references the remarkable surge in immigration in recent years and its impact on U.S. society as well as the Hispanic/Latino population itself.

Discussion Questions for Employees

Which types of Latinos/Hispanics are most prevalent in your employee population? Do you understand the battles they and their predecessors have fought to live and work here?

Discuss the different experiences of immigrants from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico and other places.

The influx of immigrants into the United States is changing education, healthcare, housing and the job market. How does this make you (individual employee) feel? Do those feelings carry over into the workplace in any way?

Why are "firsts" important to note? What other barrier breakers have you witnessed in your lifetime?

This is a personal discussion designed to help the employee note other barrier breakers historically. This discussion can be further explored after the Facts & Figures section below is discussed.


2. Facts & Figures

After discussion of the Timeline, the next step is to review available data and understand how, why and where Hispanic/Latino population growth impacts your business.

The data we have chosen to present here represents information of relevance to corporate America, such as education (available labor pool), buying power, and progress in gaining executive and management positions. Where applicable, national data is compared with DiversityInc Top 50 data to show what progress the leading D&I companies are making.

Discussion Questions for Employees

As Baby Boomers retire, the need for skilled workers in the United States is intensifying. The Hispanic/Latino population is growing rapidly yet education dramatically lags other groups.

How can your company—and you personally—create more awareness of the value of education in the Hispanic/Latino community? How can your company—and you personally—mentor and teach young Hispanics/Latinos and steer them to careers such as yours?

Should employees who speak Spanish (or another language) be allowed to use that language in the workplace when conversing with each other?

How does it make you feel when people in the workplace talk in a language you don't know? How can your resource group make people feel more included and more willing to be social with people from other demographic groups?

Why are there so few Hispanic/Latino CEOs and senior executives in corporate America? How can your company/organization encourage Hispanic/Latino managers to stay and assume more responsibilities?

What cultural barriers do you think get in the way of Hispanics/Latinos moving up? How critical is it to have role models in an organization?


How to Combat Unconscious Bias

Rashmi Badwe, Senior Managing Director, Head of Individual Client Solutions at TIAA, provides examples of unconscious bias in a team environment and gives advice on how to combat it.

By Alana Winns and Christian Carew


Career Advice on Handling Unconscious Bias

Executives from TD Bank and Monsanto collaborate to help us understand what unconscious bias is, how and why it exists, and how to address it from both an individual and organizational standpoint. The webinar concludes with almost 20 minutes of Q&A.


How Executive Diversity Councils Yield Talent Results

Sodexo's Rolddy Leyva, VP, Global Diversity & Inclusion, talks about how his company's Diversity Leadership Council sets strategic priorities & performance expectations for D&I at the U.S. regional level and drives accountability for progress.


The Differences Between Mentoring and Sponsorship

Randy Cobb, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Southern Company and Matthew Hanzlik, Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Nielsen talk about the differences between mentoring and sponsoring and give insights into how their companies leverage each.