Not every human resources professional is equipped to be a diversity, equity and inclusion facilitator. This realization spurred Mandy Price, CEO and co-founder of Kanarys, to partner with the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources. "People that aren't familiar with HR, they don't understand the nuances," Price told HR Dive. The Kanarys and NAAHR initiative was designed to help HR pros — who may be versed in talent acquisition or have a total rewards background — tackle DEI issues within their workplaces.
"We want to make sure that they have the training, the resources and the education behind it to drive strategy for the organization," Price said. Several organizations have joined the effort. Along with NAAAHR, the Black IDEA Coalition, a Black advocacy group and justice resource, is one of Kanarys’ strategic partners. But this initiative doesn’t start and end with Black professionals. Civil rights organization National Urban League joined the list.
So did Prospanica, the Association of Hispanic MBAs and Business Professionals and Ascend, a resource for pan-Asian leaders; INROADS, a non-profit geared toward young, marginalized talent, is also on board, as well as civil rights organization National Urban League.
Over the past few months, the organizations came together via webinars and Zoom committees, in a concerted effort to move the needle for DEI. Along with plans for virtual events and speakers at the upcoming NAAAHR Conference, the coalition is working to put together a Corporate Racial Equity Index. The resource, which aims to measure DEI advancement in corporate spaces and hold the studied companies accountable, will be published later this year.
Ultimately, Price’s goal is to alleviate the burden carried by Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian employees — wherein employers are emboldened to appoint people of color as DEI facilitators due to their marginalized backgrounds. Noting that Kanarys had not done quantitative research in this area, Price said she could speak anecdotally to this corporate burden for BIPOC.
"We hear [this] from a lot of individuals that aren't even in HR, from underrepresented groups, especially if there’s any kind of intersectionality," Price said. "People who lead ERGs or happen to be underrepresented and vocal about social justice issues are tapped for DEI work. They're being asked to take on this new specialty."
While companies appear to be interested in riding summer 2020’s momentum, many structural elements are missing nuance, equity and the actual skill sets embodied to create lasting change. These organizations hope to give HR pros the tools to change that.