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Strategies to Amplify! BIPOC Women and Gender Diverse Leaders

Earlier this month, we hosted a capacity-building workshop for local organizations called Amplify! BIPOC Women and Gender Diverse Leaders.

Facilitated by Daisy Pereira-Tosado, those participating in this session discussed a range of topics including the examination of discriminatory human resources policies like recruitment and dress codes and creating authentic opportunities for BIPOC members of the team at all levels of the organization. Pereira-Tosado and workshop participants traded ideas of things they are already doing in their organizations, many that we wanted to share with all of our constituents.

These helpful tips include:

  • Removing names and education from resumes and cover letters prior to passing them along to the hiring authority and selection committee for open positions.
  • Revisiting minimum qualifications for all positions with the organization. Consider whether a specific degree or educational background is necessary to perform the tasks related to the job. Focus on transferable skills or traits that job candidates acquired along the way through both the job and lived experience. By only focusing on levels of education and experience, you may be discriminating large groups of people who would be great members of the team if they only were able to gain a possibly inaccessible college degree.
  • When onboarding new team members, pair them with a “buddy,” an employee who has been with the organization for a period of time. This “buddy” would introduce the new hire to others in the organization, answer questions, and hold space for the new hire confidentially to share concerns about their new environment.
  • Refraining from using industry jargon, like specific acronyms. Creating a handbook/glossary of industry jargon and associated meanings so that incoming team members, especially people new to the field, can understand this specific language and organizational cultural trait.
  • Reviewing the staff handbook, especially work schedules and dress codes. Consider whether a flexible work schedule and working remotely are possible for your organization. Put to question whether a suit, tie, or blazer are really required to do the job. These policy changes may help team members be more productive.
  • Creating a leadership pipeline program, one that opens up opportunities for BIPOC members of the team to train, be mentored, and be considered for middle management and senior-level positions within the organization.
  • Truly considering who volunteers for your organization and who your donor base is. If they do not have a practice for supporting anti-racist-centered initiatives or have done some discriminatory practices, they should not be a key stakeholder for your organization.

We are planning the spring “Amplify!” workshop which will continue this conversation. We will announce the date, specific topic, and list of speakers in late February or early March.

We would like to thank Daisy Pereira-Tosado for leading a very insightful and engaging discussion.