Guidance for the Industry


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Our research led to the development of a four-pronged framework for tech companies and leaders who wish to meaningfully contribute to closing the gap on the consistent tenure and representation lag of Black professionals in technology companies and technology functions across all companies. Of course, every organization must incorporate this guidance into their practices in a way that is tailored to their particular company’s context.

Diversity Oversight

01. Make sure that the perspective of Black employees is represented in the room when evaluating major company decisions – particularly decisions relevant to human capital management and employee experience.  

02. Track, measure, and disclose data about the representation of individual diverse groups, including Black employees, at every level– and be honest about the shortcomings. Set targets for improvements and hold leaders accountable in their performance evaluations for not achieving diversity retention and growth goals.  

03. Partner with organizations who help authentically develop pipelines for Black talent while also seeking support and partnership on the customized development of your organization’s DE&I goals and practices. 

Talent Management

04. Launch structured executive sponsorship programs with guidance and resources for leaders who participate about how to navigate the process of making strategic instructions and supporting career planning, in addition to an evaluation system and holding them accountable and rewarding their impact on elevating Black talent in the company.   

05. Reduce reliance on people managers as the single source of feedback on evaluations and compensation decisions to improve the relationships between managers and Black employees, while also providing more structure and transparency about the expectations going into performance evaluations. 

06. Create a structured onboarding program that prepares all people managers to understand the company’s DE&I goals in the same way they would be briefed on the financial and strategy plans, along with ongoing training to enable them to effectively engage with DE&I.

Equitable Opportunities 

07. Application intake should focus on skills needed to perform the job rather than disproportionately emphasizing experiences held to date – and would benefit from being a blinded and nameless process. 

08. Ensure that information and application processes for available roles and special projects are made publicly available for everyone in the company. Project marketplaces where leaders can post open roles and project opportunities to applicants with the skills of knowledge to meet the mark are a win-win for talent and leaders. While they broaden the knowledge of opportunities to everyone, they can also contribute to connecting relevant skills and expertise from elsewhere in the business to better address the challenge at hand. 

09. Hiring managers need to adopt a mindset that focuses on the value that non-traditional candidates might add to their team or to solving a problem, rather than using processes of elimination based on experiences and titles which may eliminate great talent. 

Leadership Development

10. Actively invest in the leadership development of your Black emerging leaders which involves budgeting and planning for programming that will increase their network, ability to advocate for themselves, and build other leadership skills that will translate into talent feeling rewarded, supported and invested in. These investments will lead to longer tenures and Black professionals who are more prepared for leadership opportunities and promotions as they arise.

11. Leaders with inclusive leadership skills are better equipped to drive good diversity outcomes, which can be assessed based on their current and past behaviors. Interview leaders about their experiences navigating different scenarios, probing for details around specific instances of demonstrating innovative collaboration, empowering others, courageous accountability, and awareness and clarity. 

12. Include experience with and contributions to DE&I in the evaluation criteria for candidates of leadership roles. The best judges of a leader’s capabilities and leadership style are the people they lead, their peers, and the people they report to. Using a safe and confidential referencing process, gather structured feedback about the aspects of leadership tied to inclusion.

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Shaping the Future of Leadership for Black Tech Talent