YW Boston’s response to memorandum instructing federal agencies to end DE&I training

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Recently the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget released a memorandum instructing federal agencies to end diversity, equity, and inclusion training which use critical race theory and/or discuss white privilege, labelling it “divisive, anti-American propaganda.”

Meanwhile our nation’s top performing companies are moving in a different direction. Increasingly CEOs are issuing statements about racial justice and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that explicitly discuss systemic racism. Why? These leaders are keenly aware that by 2050, there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the United States and it is important to move towards more diverse representation in leadership and governance that broadly reflects the population of our country. Diverse representation in leadership provide a variety of perspectives that include gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, ability on the decisions that impact all of our futures. The data shows that:

  • Companies with inclusive talent practices generate up to 30% higher revenue per employee.
  • Those in the top quartile for racial diversity are 33% more likely to outperform their peers.
  • According to published analyses by Harvard Business Review, McKinsey and Forbes, diverse teams drive innovation and lead to better decision-making.

 

In addition to a better bottom line, the organizations YW Boston works with, find that explicit, guided conversations about racism, rather than being “divisive” can increase trust, engagement and inclusion among employees.

 

Our nation’s long history of ignoring, downplaying and denying the role racism, and specifically racism against Blacks, has been playing out since our founding. The outcome that is communicated through actions, structures, and language both coded and explicit, is that to be American is to be white, or to be a “real American” is to be white. The refusal to grapple with our full history and narrow definition of American is what is divides us, sustaining and perpetuating outcomes such as:

  • There are only four Black CEOs in the Fortune 500
  • The Black-White wage gap is approximately what it was in 1950
  • Black households have about 10% the median net worth of white households

 

This is a dangerous time for the Federal Government to roll back access to training and education that are fundamental to understanding inclusion, and that help make our government agencies more effective and equitable for all of our nation’s residents. Now more than ever, we encourage leaders across sectors to advocate for meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion work within our civic institutions, communities, and workplaces and to move closer to a “more perfect union.”


Beth Chandler
President & CEO
YW Boston

 

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About YW Boston 

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and F.Y.R.E. Initiative, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed. 

As part of that work, we are helping organizations prioritize Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and become socially connected while staying physically distant. During this time, YW Boston is providing organizations with digital workshops and resources to help them better understand the challenges faced by their employees. For more information, please contact Sheera Bornstein at sheera@ywboston.org