Community Affairs Show: Improving Race Relations in the Workplace

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This week on the Community Affairs Show, Cheryl Jackson talks with The Society for Human Resource and Management (SHRM), CEO and President Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.  SHRM recently launched an initiative and research regarding Race relations in the Workplace.  The report, The Journey To Equity and Inclusion uncovered critical disconnects between Black and white Americans and calls on HR and the business community to come together as allies as part of SHRM’s Together Forward @Work initiative, a call-to-action to drive racism and social injustice from American workplaces once and for all.

Key findings include:

•             Thirty-three percent of U.S. workers say their workplace actively discourages discussion of racial justice issues; Black workers (45%) were significantly more likely to perceive this than white workers (30%).

•             A single area of agreement: Black and white workers are equally uncomfortable (37%) in engaging in conversations about race at work.

•             Forty-three percent of U.S. workers believe these conversations are inappropriate at work; yet, seventy percent of HR professionals say such discussions are appropriate at work.

•             Forty-one percent of HR professionals say their workplace is not doing enough to provide opportunities for Black people; again, Black HR professionals (68%) were significantly more likely to report this than white HR professionals (35%)

•             A majority of organizations are making or plan to make statements on racial justice right now (80 percent internal and more than half, external), yet the vast majority (67 percent) have not even bothered to gather the thoughts of their workforce on racial injustice.

The research findings underscore the importance of employers understanding workers views at this moment in time, then taking action starting with productive conversations about uncomfortable topics.

About SHRM:

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.

Community Affairs Show: Improving Race Relations in the Workplace  was originally published on

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