19 Questions for Leaders Who Are Serious About Racial Equity

1. What is your understanding today of the experience(s) Black employees have at work? Based on what you know, what is and is not working?

2. Before now, what efforts have been made individually and collectively by the leadership team to understand what Black employees experience at work?

3. Based on what you already know, what steps have you taken to correct those issues?

4. What channels currently exist to understand what is and is not working for Black employees?

5. What have you learned from exit interviews and communications with human resources (HR) about the experiences of Black and other employees who don’t identify as white?

6. Was there any follow-up or corrective action? If so, what? If no follow-up action was taken, then why not?

7. Is it clear to employees what channels and resources are available to support them and to report racial inequities?

8. Is diversity, equity and inclusion a core value at this organization?

9. What can you point to in support of that claim?

10. What does the data show about hiring, promotions, retention and turnover among Black employees, and how has that changed over time?

11. Have you used that data to make any positive/substantive changes? If so, please provide examples. If not, why?

12. What DE&I goals are already in place? What progress has been made?

13. Can you provide specific examples of how you plan to promote transparency and accountability as it relates to DE&I?

14. Will there be transparent and routine releases of internal data to track progress?

15. What efforts are being made to benchmark and evaluate managers, particularly those who have high turnover rates on their teams or who have been reported to HR?

16. Will you consider 360-degree evaluations for managers and ask questions about DE&I, microaggressions etc? This may be hard for smaller teams, but this should be considered.

17. What resources (time, effort, money) are you putting toward DE&I now?

18. What are you willing to put toward DE&I going forward?

19. What concrete actions have you committed to taking that will improve DE&I, and what’s the timeline for implementation?

Photo Credit: Alex Nemo Hanse on Unsplash

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