Inspired by Black History Month, we have chosen to read The Business of Race: How to Create and Sustain an Antiracist Workplace and Why It’s Actually Good for Business by Gina Greenlee and Margaret H. Greenberg.
Gina is a Black business leader with more than thirty years of experience in organizational development, project management, communications, and training. Margaret is a White executive coach and president of The Greenberg Group, a consulting firm that coaches executives and their teams to lead large-scale organizational change. Together, they have pooled their vast amount of knowledge of business and psychology to create a practical guide for employers and employees about how to address race in the workplace.
The core message of this book is that you can’t solve what you can’t talk about, and there is a power in the fact that the book is able to examine the delicate nature of talking about race from both a Black and a White person’s perspective, resulting in an honest and necessary read that really digs deep into the topic.
There has long been a taboo around talking about race at work, and in their book, Gina and Margaret highlight that organizations must be readying themselves on an individual and enterprise level before diving headfirst into such an important conversation. The individual work includes raising our awareness and creating new ways of being, and the enterprise work focuses on how employers must develop and implement strategies, policies, and initiatives to reimagine a racially equitable workplace. But these things are not ‘programs’ that can just be completed swiftly … they are journeys.
This book acts as a guide for starting this journey. It offers a number of practical ways that businesses – regardless of their size – can make positive, sustainable changes that will help to bring more racial diversity, inclusion, and equity into the workplace.
The reader is offered a range of tools to help them start these conversations, comprising a mix of new learning tools such as fostering a growth mindset, with more familiar tools such as strategic planning and project management. Woven amongst these are interviews from more than two-dozen business professionals across diverse industries, fields and organizational levels that bring voices to the challenges and opportunities businesses face every day.
And while this book offers accessible routes into discussing racial inequity at work, it is also honest about the fact that accessibility should not be confused with ease … this is hard work. But with the right set of tools, alongside strategic support from your HR team, employers can start having important conversations about race in the workplace.
If you would like to discuss the services that OrgShakers can offer with helping fuel your diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, please get in touch with us here.
And to get your hands on a copy of The Business of Race, head over here for the US and here for the UK.