The Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative is a global coalition of organizations and their C-suite leaders committed to leveraging their individual and collective power to build equitable and just workplaces for professionals with under-represented racial and ethnic identities.
Racism and racial bias is manifested in current social, economic and political disenfranchisement of historically marginalized and minority ethnic groups* such as the lack of opportunities, lower socio-economic status, higher unemployment and the racial wealth gap. Professionals of colour and minority ethnic backgrounds continue to face racial injustice and inequity in the workplace, and they have been severely underrepresented in leadership. For example, there have only been 15 Black CEOs over the course of the 62 years of the Fortune 500’s existence, and currently only 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are Black. Below the top level, Black employees form approximately only 4.7% of executive team members in the Fortune 100 and 6.7% of the 16.2 million managerial-level jobs.
While an integrative and holistic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy is needed, many corporate DE&I programmes tend to address diversity as an all-encompassing term for all human differences and fail to address norms and practices that are rooted in specific historical patterns of exclusion, marginalisation and disadvantage.
*The definition of “ethnic minority” varies by country, based on the local understanding of which groups have been historically marginalized and under-represented politically or in business.
To design racially just workplaces, companies must confront racism at a systemic level — addressing everything from the structural and social mechanics of their own organizations to the role they play in the communities in which they operate and the economy at large.
The Partnership has been designed to operationalize and coordinate commitments to eradicate racism in the workplace and set new global standards for racial equity in business. It also provides a platform for businesses to collectively advocate for inclusive policy change.
One of the initiative’s starting points will be Black inclusion and addressing anti-Blackness. A broad-brush approach to racism fails to grasp its effects on different under-represented groups. Anti-Black racism is historically one of the most pervasive forms of racism. As such, a targeted and specific approach to tackle it in the workplace is required. As the initiative evolves, it will seek to increase the visibility of racially and ethnically diverse leaders throughout industries, and expand its focus to include additional racial and ethnic groups.
A Holistic and Integrated Approach to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice
The initiative originates from the World Economic Forum’s New Economy and Society Platform, which is focused on building prosperous, inclusive and just economies and societies. In addition to its work on economic growth, revival and transformation, work, wages and job creation, and education, skills and learning, the Platform takes an integrated and holistic approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice, and aims to tackle exclusion, bias and discrimination related to race, gender, ability, sexual orientation and all other forms of human diversity. It produces data, standards and insights, such as the Global Gender Gap Report and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 4.0 Toolkit, and drives or supports action initiatives, such as the Community of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers, The Valuable 500 – Closing the Disability Inclusion Gap, Hardwiring Gender Parity in the Future of Work, Closing the Gender Gap Country Accelerators, the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality or the Global Future Council on Equity and Social Justice.
For more information, please contact:
Kimberly Bennett, Lead, Racial Justice in Business, Centre for New Economy and Society