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article imageBlack lives matter: Developing an anti-racist policy for the firm

By Tim Sandle     Jun 5, 2020 in Business
One of the key issues for society at the moment is racism and counter anti-racism strategies, with issues sparked by the George Floyd killing. For companies, what does a good anti-racist strategy look like?
In terms of wider guidance, numerous lists have been published for white people on how to be anti-racist. However, for companies there has been given little guidance on how they need to change. This comes in the wake of the protests following the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis.
To appreciate how companies can be anti-racist, the leaders of one organization pioneered the appropriate measures and went beyond traditional anti-discrimination policies to build an explicitly anti-racist and anti-oppressive workplace culture. This was the company Fractured Atlas, which is a 75,000-member organization that helps artists nationwide build successful careers and businesses.
Five years ago, the company changed its workplace policies so priority was placed on the health and safety of all of its employees regardless of race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. This included embedding a commitment to dismantling racist systems in everything they do. The company's policy contains some good practice advice, as set out on their website.
Connecting with digital transformation, Fractured Atlas found that the best way to be anti-racist was to become an entirely virtual organization. Working remotely meant that employees did not have to overcome the income barriers of living in New York City, disabled people aren’t hampered by transit obstacles, talented people can be hired no matter where they live, employees in disproportionately white offices aren’t reminded constantly they are in the minority, and more.
Ensuring that policies remain up-to-date, Lauren Ruffin and Tim Cynova are part of Fractured Atlas’s shared, non-hierarchical leadership team. At the top of the organization, which is from where culture change is triggered from, best practices need to demonstrated. With Fractured Atlas, the leadership is made up of four people in four parts of the U.S. who collaborate to fulfill the function of the organization’s CEO.
This has allowed the evolution to an anti-racist and anti-oppressive virtual workplace. Several tips are available on the company's website, which is titled 'Work Shouldn't Suck'.
More about Racism, Antiracism, business strategy
 
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