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How to Address Racial Equity in the Workplace

Author: Mary Gormandy White, M.A., SHRM-SCP, SPHR

Employers in the United States have long been required to comply with equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and related regulations, but that does not mean that racial equity has been achieved in all - or even in the majority - of companies. While taking steps to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment is an important move toward equality, complying with EEO laws is just one step toward workplace equity. There is much work to be done.

The path to creating a workplace culture characterized by racial equity will not look exactly the same for every company. If an employer begins trying to apply fixes without really knowing what is broken, its efforts will not lead to meaningful change. They could even cause more harm than good. That is why it's so important to begin with a needs assessment to identify the barriers to equity that exist within an organization.