With the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affecting minority communities and the ongoing protests across America resulting from the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the countless other unarmed black people, I think now is a good time to rip the bandaid off a sensitive topic and discuss a few solutions that will go a long way in ending systemic racism in business. While we have come a long way, we still have a ways to go to combat racial and social discrimination.
As a black business owner, systemic racism has a way of rearing its ugly head in obvious and not so obvious ways. The challenges faced by minority business owners to establish relationships with mostly white decision makers are met with barriers that have crushed the ambition of many hard working men and women business owners seeking the “American Dream”.
As we discuss systemic issues that have plagued our country for hundreds of years, we must establish long term solutions that will make for a more inclusive environment. I present to you three solutions that will help in the fight of putting an end to systemic racism and exclusionary business practices.
Solution #1: Diversify the portfolio of folks you do business with.
The old saying of doing business with people “you know, like and trust” still holds true. In a world where senior leadership remains predominantly white, as a non-white business owner it can be difficult to grab the ear of potential prospects when your culture, social circles and backgrounds are different.
In order to become a more inclusive organization, intentionally diversifying the portfolio of partners who you do business with will have a long lasting impact on ensuring your organization is taking the right steps to combat exclusionary business practices and systemic racism.
Solution #2: Continue to invest in minority owned businesses.
It’s as simple as this. We need your help. Minority business ownerships only represent about 18% of the population. While the numbers have slowly increased over the years, it is still a ways away from our white counterparts.
If you are interested in making a difference, you need to be aware of this gap and find new ways of connecting with minority business owners who have vested interest in supporting your business needs and offer solutions for your business pain points.
Solution #3: Become a crusader in the fight against racism.
I have been presented with the question from many of my white business contacts on “how can we support the fight against systemic racism plaguing fellow Americans in our country?” The answer is simple. Fight with us! Become a crusader in the fight against social injustices in and outside the business world by not accepting or being tolerant of your counterparts racist and exclusionary ideologies.
This means calling our co-workers out for racists jokes, behaviors and microaggressions. This means not becoming tolerant of your family, friends, or co-workers insensitive opinions of people of different color, background, creed or gender. This means becoming a mentor, advocate and friend to promising minority talent at work and speaking up for them.
This means selecting from a more diverse pool of business partners and colleges for upward mobility opportunities. This means noticing when a room, business meeting, or social gathering is not diverse enough and speaking up about it. We need your voice in this fight.
Wrap it up
In close, we are not seeking preferential treatment. We are seeking to partner with people and businesses who want to help end systemic racism and exclusionary business practices by working with minority businesses that fit their needs and solve their problems.
It’s great we are actively seeking solutions to institutionalized issues. It’s time to establish tangible action items we can put in place to right the ship and evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts. We can only hope that by establishing these solutions changes will begin to take place to correct a legacy that has not historically represented America’s core ideal that all men are created equal.
If you are interested in speaking with me and learning more about how I can help diversify your business and streamline your process of securing trucking services for shipments. Please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To price a load in seconds, please check out our Instant Freight Rates solution here!