Consultants Spoke Out Against Racism. But Will Actions Follow?
The FundFire article, "Consultants Spoke Out Against Racism. But Will Actions Follow?" quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Bradlee Benn on how companies can take action in the fight against racism. The article is excerpted below.
The recent killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police have forced a renewed reckoning across American society, and many corporate leaders spanning the economic landscape were quick to come out with statements. Most investment consultants, which have a distinct say in who gets to manage trillions in institutional dollars, have weighed in as well, condemning racism, pledging to listen, and calling for betterment.
Several consulting firms also have either donated to racial justice organizations, such as the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund or Black Lives Matter, or have implemented matching programs for their employees’ donations.
Diversity and inclusion consultants say while the above items can be a component, companies need to do more if they want to demonstrate serious commitment.
“Some of these things can’t be quantified… if you put a library together, there’s no metric
of success to see, ‘was it or was it not successful?’” says Bradlee Benn, a consultant and diversity and inclusion market co-lead for the Americas at Russell Reynolds Associates. “That’s a component,” he adds, but “companies need to be bold. They need to put some aggressive lines in the sand, and then track and measure against those.”
Elevating certain roles, such as that of the chief diversity officer, to the management committee, and setting goals for diversity in the board, operations committee or slate of managing directors, are examples of such actions, Benn says.
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