SOCAP24: Going Deeper, Catalyzing Systems Change — Tracks and Curation Councils Released!

How Simply Hiring a More Diverse Workforce Misses the Racial-Equity Mark

Margot Foster February 11, 2020

Organizations and industries attempting to reach racial equity have been focusing on increasing diversity in the workforce. Although well-intentioned, the practice is inadequate when fighting systemic racism and is merely the first step of many that are required to start seeing progress. Racial equity is when an individual’s race bears no prediction on their socioeconomic outcomes and everyone has the same opportunities for success, regardless of skin color or cultural background.

Racial Diversity

Organizations subscribe to the misguided belief that increasing racial diversity in the workplace will lead to a trickling-up system that will eventually lead to increased representation in positions of management, decision making, and government. However, this ideology fails to address the systemic racism and labor exploitation of people of color in society, which results in racially diverse workers still having to fight against unfair disadvantages within a workplace, despite the initial hiring.

Even with a more diverse workforce, racial equity cannot be achieved without those in society — who are most negatively impacted by racial inequality — in a position of control over the creation of practices and policies that have a direct effect on their lives. Traditional corporate hierarchies and existing management levels that are still predominantly White do not allow for this, and people of color in the workplace are being managed without representation. Racial equity requires a more revolutionized overturning of the policies and attitudes that reinforce differences in societal outcome based on race. Organizations should be looking into different ways to implement anti-racist policies in the workplace that advance the progression towards racial equity.

The Benefits of Racial Equity 

Racial equity promises a society where one’s skin color and cultural background has no impact on societal opportunities and outcomes. With no racial inequity limitations, every person will have access to an infrastructure designed for them to thrive and reach their potential. Naturally, with an increased number of the workforce able to fulfil their potential, individual businesses and the overall economy will see improvements. “Reports have shown that increasing racial and gender diversity in the workforce of the United States is a key contributor to its economic growth,” says Adilah Alaoui, business blogger at Writinity and Researchpapersuk. On the flip side, racial disparity is shown to hurt the economy. Racial differences in education attainment and income are hindering the growth of the economy by trillions of dollars per year.

Preferable Racial Equity Strategies

1. Adopt corporate racial-equity goals.

Racial equity goals in the workplace for career development can be implemented with effective strategies on how to achieve them. Instead of perpetuating disparities, organizations can keep track of their progress towards closing equity gaps by setting up processes that enforce it. Properly designed systems will provide opportunities for people of color while highlighting the barriers and hindrances that are currently in place.

2. Invest in infrastructure.

Organizations that are meeting equity goals should be supported with guidance and training to ensure that efforts moving forwards are consistently addressing the reduction of the equity gap. “When developing plans of action and defining company ambitions, organizations need to invest in specific training so that management goals are developed with racial equity. Company workers also require training to ensure that the racial equity training is put into practice on a daily scale,” says Nyali Abdi, lifestyle writer at Draftbeyond and Lastminutewriting.

3. Provide support services for people of color.

Investment in services that support the education and training of people of color. The historically higher levels of poverty and lower levels of wages for people of color has resulted in a distinct wage gap. This has a direct and significant impact on educational attainment since there are fewer financial resources available that are required for young people to continue higher levels of education.


A world that provides equal opportunity for every individual regardless of race is beneficial to everyone. Not only will this have a positive impact on the economy, but it will also provide a more just society to live in. Racial equity will not come about by accident; it requires the active participation of governments, organizations, and the public to work to enforce it.

Equity and Inclusion / Stakeholder Capitalism
Join the SOCAP Newsletter!