SPECTRUM21 – Can Business Leaders Help Build an Equitable Society?

SOCAP Global June 10, 2021

In the wake of Covid-19 and a long-overdue national reckoning on racial injustice, the call for all sectors to address structural racism has never been stronger. Corporate leaders across the nation are making bold commitments in response to increased demand from the public to lead on addressing structural racism. But commitments are not enough—companies need a roadmap and shared language for how to translate commitments into lasting change.

This is the collective mission at PolicyLink, FSG and JUST Capital, as shared by PolicyLink‘s Managing Director of Corporate Racial Equity Mahlet Getachew at SPECTRUM21 Virtual. These organizations are working to define robust corporate standards for racial equity building on their CEO Blueprint for Racial Equity and innovating from the ground up informed by the expertise, wisdom, and resilience of people of color and low-income communities.

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“Racial gaps in income and employment cost our nation over $2 trillion in 2018 alone,” Mahlet said in her session. “The trillions in losses keep stacking up every year. With the changing face of America, growing economic inequity is not sustainable for our society or our economy.”

Mahlet also emphasized the need for cross-sector collaboration to truly transform America’s systems to be more just and equitable.

“Never before has there been so much potential for structural transformation that can finally benefit all Americans,” Mahlet said. “But none of us, including business leaders, can do this work alone. We have to work together to co-create the future we all need.”

At the end of her session, Mahlet called on business leaders to take action instead of reinforcing business as usual.

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“Being neutral is the same as holding the status quo firmly in place,” she said. “We’re now in an age of accountability, and we must go big and work together to finally remake this nation to work for all of us, not just for some of us. How are you going to lead in this moment and beyond?”

Watch Mahlet’s session to learn more about the Blueprint, how C-Suite leaders across the nation are grappling with their increased civic leadership expectations and get a sneak peek into the groundbreaking project to develop racial equity business standards.

Equity and Inclusion
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