In Q2 of 2022, we continued our partnership with The Courage Collective and dove deeper into learning specifically about authentic allyship. Collectively, what stood out to our team is the difference between transactional and transformational allyship. In today’s context, transactional allyship may be exercised as an organization/person showing allyship via a social post/statement or participating in blackout Tuesday, but not taking any action beyond that to truly transform or impact the issue at hand. Recognizing that transformational allyship is about continuous action and work to make a difference, we were asked to consider the difference between recognition vs. action. Is a person’s or organization’s action to simply achieve recognition of their participation, or are they taking action as their participation? Great question to ask yourself and your teams as you show up for others.
One of our team members found this helpful quote/image from Candace Reels that summarizes authentic allyship.
In Q2, we had the opportunity to recognize Juneteenth. However, as a leader, I failed to decide prior to June 19 on how we, as an organization, would recognize it. Why did I miss it? I was struggling to wrap my head/heart around why a ‘day off’ would honor African Americans, and that struggle prevented me from deciding. Recognizing this failure with the team, I chose to create a team discussion on Juneteenth. This gave us the opportunity to learn more about Juneteenth, discuss what it meant to some of us, and to continue our journey as a team in addressing inequality. This discussion was far more substantive than taking the day off. To kick-off our discussion, we listened to this Conversation with Opal Lee. Following that conversation, we received a timely email from Stacey Gordon titled, “Why I don’t “celebrate” Juneteenth”. As a team, we continue to find Stacey Gordon a valuable resource in our journey to dismantling systemic inequality in recruiting.
Going forward, Another Source may or may not choose to close on June 19, however what we WILL be doing is identifying ways we can continue transformational allyship in the month of June and beyond. Areas we intend to show our support are supporting black-owned businesses, discussing Juneteenth as a team, and finding additional ways we can bring awesome career opportunities to the black community.
Finally, in our Q2 efforts to dismantle inequality in recruiting, we again reflected on ways that can create more inclusive conversations with our hiring managers. This stemmed specifically from a response we get quite frequently from hiring teams when we ask about specific diversity efforts that they would like us to focus on during their recruitments. The response is something like, “we just want the best candidate”, and they truly do, I wholeheartedly believe that. Let’s face it, there are very few of us who are comfortable or practiced in talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion and thus the response of “the best candidate” is thought to be a way to show their openness to any one candidate. In an attempt to further the conversation, we practiced ways to take the conversation one or two steps further, such as:
- What are the skills the best candidate brings?
- Tell me more about the best candidate.
- What traits would someone have that would make you take a chance on someone?
- With this hire, what could add to your team culture?
The willingness to go one step further engages all of us in a conversation of discovery and ways we can build a more diverse candidate pool.
Our goal every day is to further our growth and understanding in order to be better recruitment partners, for both our clients and our candidates. We know that diverse teams are the strongest teams, and we will continue to educate ourselves as an organization. We will continue to prioritize asking tough questions to allow for more productive conversations between our clients so that they may shift their thinking about their teams and recruiting practices. We will create awareness and educate our partners, clients, candidates and communities on diversity recruitment best practices and new initiatives.