Closing racial wealth gap depends on opportunities for black workers, expert says

In the years since the 2014 protests over the killing of unarmed black men in Florida, Missouri and New York, public opinion on policing and racial equity has shifted rapidly.

Corporate America has joined protesters in condemning the death of George Floyd at the hands of police and calling for action to confront racial injustices and inequalities in the U.S.

Pamela Fuller, author of “The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias,” said part of closing the racial wealth gap means ensuring opportunities for black workers to enter and rise within companies.

“Leaders select protégés of the same race and gender,” Fuller said.

“It is essentially how our brain presses the easy button. And that sort of vulnerability as an organizational leader, that sort of analysis into your decision making, I think is really critical. Are we only promoting people that do things the way we do them or have a similar background to the background that we have?”

She said leaders need to move past their own preconceived ideas, or what she calls “mental shortcuts.”

What we assume about each other and how we interact with one another has vast effects on our organizational success, especially in the workplace, Fuller said.

Fuller said once bias is recognized, companies need to work on emphasizing empathy and curiosity and making true understanding a priority in the workplace.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up