Key takeaways from the 2020 LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit
Healing and Impact: Navigating Racial Battle Fatigue While Creating Systemic Change
Sheree Haggan, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Manager at Google
In her keynote, Sheree Haggan, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager at Google, explored the importance of a more mindful approach for B2B businesses to take as they rehabilitate a white-dominated framework in a way that does not inflict racial battle fatigue on their marginalized colleagues.
Haggan notes that a reprioritization of diversity and inclusion has resulted in a sudden engagement with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) at businesses where they suddenly have a seat at the table. She stressed that it is not the responsibility of the oppressed to solve for the actions of the oppressor, rather, the ones who have the power must be the ones to enact change as they are the ones who built these systems.
“My foot is being stepped on,” she said, “But I don’t have the power to remove the person’s foot. I can point to the pain, but [white people] need to remove the foot.”
Haggan urges businesses to move past getting caught up in buzzy, headline-worthy actions, such as making Juneteeth a company holiday, and to prioritize a deep investigation of their company systems and have senior management dedicate to a long term strategy with specific milestones and accountability.
For BIPOC who are currently experiencing racial battle fatigue, Haggan advises not to carry the weight of the businesses’ racism on their shoulders as this work should involve the entire company. She explains that boundaries at this time are crucial. “[Ask yourself:] What is your job? What is not your job? What are your limitations? How can you empower white people to step into their role with this?”
This blog post is part of Brainrider’s Key takeaways from the 2020 LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit series. Read the rest of the series here:
- How to integrate meaningful diversity and inclusion policy change in your B2B business
- How to prevent inflicting or experiencing racial battle fatigue in the workplace
- How to balance social impact with B2B business goals
- How to build and support diverse teams in the age of COVID-19
If you would like to support the work of LesbiansWhoTech, please donate here.
Brainrider is a B2B marketing and creative agency. We help clients hit KPIs by providing B2B marketing execution services through an on-site & off-site resourcing model to fill capacity and capability gaps. We’re focused on helping you achieve your business objectives and identifying opportunities for continuous improvement so you’ll always stay ahead of the curve. Get in touch here.
All images courtesy of LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit.