Culture Hack

Culture Hack

Apologize, Learn, and Reform: How Your Company Can Gracefully Commit to Change

The events of the past year have put an emphasis on DEI, making most companies commit to change before the public. But in a society where it feels like being diverse and equal is “trendy,” Millennials and Gen-Zers are extra critical when it comes to how these companies are moving away from a systemic oppression they once contributed to. Social media has given consumers more than enough access to the less advertised elements of a company, reducing the room for error and increasing the need to make good on promises. But, for most companies who were blinded by unconscious bias, what exactly are the right moves?

Before any sort of action towards change, the first thing that any business who has not been true to any form of DEI should acknowledge is their unconscious bias, their systemic and (until recently) normalized disregard of marginalized groups. The consumers of today can see through insincere acts with the intention of increasing their profit. They want to know that a company is willing to accept that they have failed before they are ready to recover lost opportunities. From a simple social post to a formal statement, any piece of information that is solely and clearly discussing previous failures. 

According to a study conducted by Brookings, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.

A second step in the process of gracefully committing to change would be to listen to the change makers of our world. As mentioned above, the work force will mostly consist of Millennials, with Gen-Z slowly but surely taking up the rest of the work space. These youngest generations have been campaigning for inclusion since they recognized the power of their voices — and have not stopped or will not stop until the diversity of the country is accurately reflected in the diversity of all industries.

The final step, the one that will set the tone for your company as you move away from the past, is a foolproof, carefully constructed plan for reform. A CEO can’t just state that they want to change without a set of actions they will take to ensure that their company’s stances change. No, it will take seminars and classes and philanthropy and — most importantly — transparency with the public who will keep it in check. Sharing a plan for reform with the public will establish a humble credibility between you and your consumers so that, if any mistakes are made moving forward, intentions and motivations will still be felt by the general public. 

Is there an easy way to commit to changing your companies’ beliefs? No. It may not be easy or even a clear and straightforward process that all can follow but it is a necessary responsibility to take up if society is ever going to move away from systemic racism. Gone are the days when unconscious bias was an acceptable excuse for lack of inclusion. The events that we have all witnessed this year are enough proof that all aspects of this corrupt societal model need to change, including the industry you work through.