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A Call for Equitable Employee Lifecycle

In today's world, where social mobility is often hindered by insurmountable barriers. Businesses have strategically avoided any responsibility to break down the walls of generational poverty and classism. Often times, perpetuating narratives that marginalize and limit opportunities for the same people they create DEI programs to 'support'. 

Lets stop pretending DEI is about just being kind. One crucial way for organizations to do this is by expanding their employee lifecycle to include promoting people from within and having more accountable strategies for recognizing how systemically Black people are pushed out of organizations when they refuse to be content with their suppression and abuse within organizations.

Traditionally, organizations have been known to favor external hires for higher-level positions, overlooking the potential and capabilities of their current employees. However, this practice not only perpetuates social inequalities but also fails to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience already present within the company.

Red Flags for Black Women to look out for is an organization with an abundance of Black staff in warehouse, security, and customer service positions. Even when these positons are unionized and offer nice benefit packages, it is all a part of the golden handcuffs. If people have been in the same role, or shifted to supervisory roles, and the roles are all measured meticulously for productivity with no room for creativity, it is a trap. Keep your resume up to date, and get ta getting as soon as possible! Girl I'm not playing. Bombastic side eye.

By prioritizing internal promotions, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to fairness, equality, and social mobility. Promoting from within sends a powerful message: that individuals who may have faced societal barriers still have opportunities to grow and succeed within the organization. Organizations who do not promote Black people being their authentic selves from within benefit from using stereotypes and rigid internalized White culture to perpetuate systemic racism. Go where you are celebrated Sis. 

Implementing strong pathways for career progression can empower employees and motivate them to perform at their best. When employees see that hard work and dedication can lead to advancement, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work, resulting in increased productivity and loyalty.

But it is not enough to focus solely on internal promotions. In the age of online platforms like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, an organization's inequitable practices can easily surface, tarnishing its reputation. Therefore, businesses must also consider pathways for individuals once they leave the organization. I recently was invited to interview with an organization and the Glassdoor reviews reflected an extremely toxic culture, it was giving The Shining. 

After an employee moves on, they often become part of word-of-mouth networks, sharing their experiences with others. These platforms have become critical in shaping public perception and can significantly impact an organization's employer brand. By providing support and resources to former employees, organizations can cultivate a positive reputation, even after their departure. This can include mentorship programs, alumni networks, or even providing access to continued education or job placement services.

It is important to note that promoting from within and supporting former employees are not just acts of goodwill; they are strategic moves that bring long-term benefits. A diverse and inclusive workforce that represents a range of backgrounds and experiences fosters creativity, innovation, and better decision-making. Additionally, employees who feel valued and supported are more likely to become brand advocates, attracting top talent to the organization.

The hope is that human resource departments transform their approaches to racial equity. Human Resources is in place to protect the organization and it is very hard to prove race or gender discrimination. Toxic, hostile, and abusive workplaces are the norm - and the legal system works in their favor. There has yet to be a seismic shift in Human Resources or Employment Law in favor of Black Women, so until that happens, the Hire to Hostile pipeline, Glass Ceilings, and Glass Cliffs are aplenty and you have to navigate them like you love yourself and you don't want to get hurt. 

With organizations like Caged Bird HR and The AntiHR™, HR Lady available I highly recommend covering your ass early and often. The AntiHR, HR Lady gave a brilliant piece of advice when she said keep a journal for each specific job and document everything. So when those microaggressions and macroaggressions begin to crop up and target you, you'll be in a better position to advocate for severance or advocate for yourself with your state unemployment office. 

In conclusion, businesses must recognize the barriers that limit social mobility and take decisive action to break them down. Expanding the employee lifecycle to include promoting from within not only demonstrates a commitment to equity but also unlocks the potential and talent that already exists within the organization. Additionally, organizations should consider pathways for former employees, helping to safeguard their reputation in an interconnected world. By doing so, businesses can create a more inclusive and fair work environment, while reaping the benefits of a diverse and engaged workforce.

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