Racial bias trainings surged after George Floyd’s death. A year later, experts are still waiting for ‘bold’ change
The PBS NewsHour article, "Racial bias trainings surged after George Floyd's death. A year later, experts are still waiting for 'bold' change," cited the Russell Reynolds Associates report, "A Leader's Guide: Finding and Keeping Your Next Chief Diversity Officer." The article is excerpted below.
One year ago, the nationwide protests ignited by the murder of George Floyd by a police officer not only fueled demands for systemic police reforms, but also forced companies and government agencies across the country to reexamine the inequities within their organizations.
Hiring for experts who specialize in addressing racism, implicit bias, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has increased significantly in recent years, a trend that has accelerated in the year following Floyd’s killing.
As the anniversary of Floyd’s death marks a moment of reflection on what has changed, and what hasn’t, over the last year, DEI and bias trainers and educators said they noticed a shift that forced decision makers to discuss systemic problems. But in interviews with the PBS NewsHour, several professionals expressed skepticism that such efforts will lead to long-lasting change as clients resist committing to the long-term and often uncomfortable work that they say change requires.
As interest in diversity and equity grows, trainers see challenges
DEI and anti-racism work is not new, but in the two weeks following Floyd’s murder, web searches for the terms “diversity officer” and “implicit bias training” reached a peak in the United States, according to the web analytics tool Google Trends, far exceeding the searches for these terms after the police killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other Black people, whose deaths ignited the Black Lives Matter movement.
The country’s largest publicly traded companies tripled their hiring of chief diversity officers in the three months after Floyd’s killing, according to an analysis by the management consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates.
The growth of these positions is part of a years-long increase. A 2019 Russell Reynolds report found that 63 percent of those top public companies had appointed or promoted someone to a diversity chief role within the last three years.
Read the full article here.