March 28, 2022

Upward Mobility and DEI – BRJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, – Belonging and Racial Justice)

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Upward mobility is a very relevant factor in creating an inclusive work culture.

There is nothing better for a new hire than to look at the Executive Team and Board of Directors and think, "I could be at that table someday."

For many organizations, efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion are demonstrated by having intentional hiring practices where minorities are not only accepted but sought after. I completely agree and support those efforts; however, today, I want to talk about the upward mobility of Black, Latinos, LBGTQ+, and other representatives of minority groups who are already in the organization. Here is where coaching, training, and professional development within the organization can make a big difference. Upward mobility is defined as the ability of an individual to join an organization at one level and "climb a latter" of jobs with more responsibility and financial reward. The idea makes sense, but minorities still lack representation at the manager, director, and above levels when we look at statistics. Why? If we don't showcase our talents, are we forgetting to communicate recent accomplishments or new certifications and education to our supervisors? Are we not asking for that promotion instead of applying for a higher-level job somewhere else, contributing to high turnover numbers? We, minority representatives, can be active participants in this process. Here are some things we can do:

  • If you are an employee, ask about a potential career path and what it would take to get there. Design your short- and long-term goals. Ask relevant questions, request feedback periodically, and share your interests.
  • If you are an employer, give your employees stretch projects, showcase potential growth opportunities, and support career mobility through mentorships and targeted training.

Making upward mobility a priority and a vital element of the company culture will create an environment of contribution and retention. It will also close representation gaps making a workplace more innovative and attractive to employees and customers. If you're in Massachusetts, your business can elevate its business's bottom line by leveraging the Fast Track Training Grant Program. Learn more and download the application.