Announcements

June 19, 2020

Letter to the Tech Industry

Mandy Bynum McLaughlin
Co-founder, Race Equ(al)ity Index

The last several weeks have been a telling example of how the attitude and intentions of our industry’s leadership has been put to the test. 

In response to COVID19, along with the undeniably brutal muder of George Floyd, there seems to have been an awakening in the Tech Industry. One so great we’ve seen an outpour of public statements from brands and their CEO’s declaring solidarity with the Black community, that Black Lives Matter, and showing overwhelming support for their Black employees.

We believe our mostly cis-gendered male exeuctive leadership within tech want to do more than the bare minimum of performative allyship with hashtags and changing social media profile photos. As the corporate conversation of race has witnessed a breakthrough, we all are now watching closely to see what our leaders are willing to do differently.

There have been many announcements around what tech companies will do. Pledges to do better are endearing. Creating, sharing, and abiding by policies that uphold this willingness is the only way to ensure money and resources are allocated to meaningful change. 

In a recent conversation with a cohort of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leaders from varied-size tech companies, we put our heads together to think about how we can continue to innovate our own industry. The hurdle is within our companies. We have fewer resources, yet more demands on our time and support than most other business units, leaving us very little space to create and operationalize large scale change for our industry. 

During a recent roundtable conversation, Rachel Williams (Head of EDI Talent Acquisition at X) pointed to the annual Corporate Equality Index produced each year by the Human Rights Campaign as an example for how such accountability does work, and has brought large scale change for the LGTBQ employee base, and has sustained as the benchmark for success with LGTBQ inclusion. “There isn't anything like that for African Americans or LatinX communities,” she said. “If someone were to put together a very similar survey and it came from the outside and it landed on my desk, that would probably help to prompt some of the systemic change that we actually need to see.” 

With the current events, we've taken Rachel’s call and come together as a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion community to create The Race Equ(al)ity Index, which we provide as a tool for companies across industries to have a clear understanding of how to increase equity, equal opportunity and equal access to career advancing resources for Black & Brown employees. 



What is the Race Equ(al)ity Index? 

The Racial Equ(al)ity Index will be developed into a report as a tool to rate US headquartered corporations on general treatment of the most underrepresented employee groups, specifically Black and Brown employees. 

Our primary source of data will be survey responses, along with validation and employee interviews with employees and network groups.

We’ll be inviting companies to participate in the Race Equ(al)ity Index throughout the upcoming weeks. 

How it works

The Racial Equ(al)ity Index will score and rank companies based on the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, with a focus on issues that intersect directly with the workplace environment.

  1. Written policy of nondiscrimination specifically for Black and Brown employees
  2. Inclusion of White Supremacy, Anti-Blackness, Anti-Immigration, and Cultural Appropriation in all Learning & Development curriculum 
  3. Appropriate, respectful, and well informed advertising to Black and Brown communities
  4. Inclusionary and considerate Mental Health benefits centered around support of the Black and Brown employee experience
  5. Access to Education, Schooling, and other programs specifically for the retention, development, and promotion of Black and Brown employees
  6. Rejection of any activities that undermine the goal bridging the equity gap for grossly underrepresented racial and ethnic groups
  7. Existing process for reporting Racial representation across functions and management levels, as well as Pay Equity and Pay Gaps across Racial identity.



Why this? Why now? 

The Race Equ(al)ity Index will eliminate the barriers that distance tech industry leadership from the benefits of creating meaningful, actionable, and impactful change for their most underrepresented communities of color. 

The Index will allow tech companies to have a clear view of where they stand in their efforts to create both equal opportunities for employees of color, and equitable access to resources for career advancement. 

With the current social landscape, there is a new awareness of the extremely disparate experiences for employees of color, specifically Black and Brown employees. With this awareness, we will help our industry move from the current state of advocacy to true change with accountability. 

We will continue to have faith that this moment of raised consciousness will sustain, and will meanwhile continue to shift the paradigm from racism as a concept of who a person is, to simply where and when racism appears in our industry, and where we will invest resources to reverse its effects on Black and Brown communities. 

We look forward to engaging tech industry leaders in a meaningful discourse, and operationalizing accountability for Racial Equity, Racial Equality, and Anti-Racist policies in the workplace. 


If you would like to learn how your company can participate in the index contact us here.

Related articles