Role of HR in Ending Racial Injustice and Diversity Issues

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The protest over police brutality and the death of George Floyd sparked a worldwide protest on racial equality. The injustice that was brought to humanity with this incident triggered groups and organizations around the world to pause and analyze their own functioning. What started with people was gradually moving to big brands and institutions. Everything finally boiled down to the role of HR and how she/he focuses on ending racial injustice in their domain.  

ALSO READ: Role of Non-Humans in Human Resources

How you understand ‘Diversity’ and “Racial Injustice”

Diversity is the condition or the state of being diverse. Something that comprises of different elements and not just one singular category qualifies for being diverse. From an organizational perspective, being diverse is about recruiting a workforce that comprises different religions, views, ethnicity, ages, abilities, etc.

Racial inequality is not giving equal opportunities to different races within a particular region or country. American history has several examples of racial injustice. While this discrimination has ended decades ago, critics argue that it is still in practice. Those arguments got more fire with the death of George Floyd. 

 

The role of HR in maintaining racial injustice and diversity

The human resource department of any organization plays an integral role in ensuring diversity awareness. Furthermore, it is all about how they prepare their hiring plans which ensures nobody feels excluded. 

Companies must try to create a well-rounded workforce. Usually, HR leaders lead a company’s selection process. From hiring a diverse workforce to determining if the organization needs diversity training, they have all the superpowers. It is during situations like these when they must understand the need for housing a diverse group of people. 

Managing a diverse workforce can be difficult at times too. Employing a Diversity Officer is a quick solution to the problem. The Diversity Officer ensures that the company never lacks the ongoing need for support and direction to manage a diverse workforce. 

During moments of conflict when some portion of the workforce accuses the management of racial injustice, it is the HR that again comes to the rescue. As a result, many HR leaders have deep insights on building cohesive groups from a diverse workforce. They can use such skills to help employees remove their doubts and learn to embrace diversity. 

 

Learn how Adidas addressed diversity issues

One of the best stories related to this ongoing agenda was the resignation by Karen Parkin. The head of global human resources for this world-famous brand stepped down following criticism from employees. 

In her response, Karen said, “I am deeply committed to our goals of creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable company. While we have made progress in many areas, there is much more work to be done. However, it has become clear to me that to unify the organization it would be better for me to retire and pave the way for change.”

Additionally, Adidas also promised that it would invest $120 Million towards initiatives that focused on ending racial injustice.

Our take

It is HR leaders like Karen that don’t fight change, but be a part of it. The HR of any organization must ditch the check-the-box mentality and work towards creating a culture that inspires diversity and ends racial injustice. 

 

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