Being an Alaska Native woman – I learn the hard way – which is the only way available to me and people like me.
As a “person of color” i.e. the latest description of people like me; I expect more than public statements.
Are companies disseminating these Open Letters to mitigate the risk of losing customers by not publicly releasing such a no-brainer statement?
As I said, I’ve learned the hard way.
Anyone can make a statement. But what are they going to do about it?
I want to see their action plan, their implementation strategy, and how will change in their company be sustained? How will it change the corporate culture?
How can I, and others like me, be able to measure the success or failure of these broad statements so easily crafted and publicized by companies?
Who is included in crafting the change vision and who is empowered?
I experienced being told by the National Guard that I tested so high on their test that I could do anything I wanted in the military, and that “for a native” they were surprised with my test scores.
I was 19. I was pissed off walking out of there. These folks were sincere and without ill-will. But they did not recognize how their words were so highly offensive.
I expect more. If company’s want to be applauded for these Open Letters, I want to see their investment and I want to see their action plans to create sustained corporate culture change.
I understand that these are good intentions, but who is empowered to point out the nuances and weaknesses needing change in their organization?
Statements on paper about commitments like these mean nothing without real action for change.
The obvious and first bottleneck I anticipate is that the “people of color” may sanitize the weaknesses in that organization when they are brought in to discussions at their place of employment.
Companies truly committed to these statements will be the ones learning the hard way.
There is no other way. There is only the hard way when it comes to human behavior.