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How Can We Advance Racial Equity And Confront Racism, Discrimination In The Workplace?

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Many companies are putting more effort toward promoting diversity, inclusivity, and representation in the workplace, but there's still a lot of work to be done.

A USA TODAY analysis of dozens of top firms' previously undisclosed hiring records found that executive roles remain overwhelmingly white and male, while Black and Hispanic workers — particularly women — ranked the lowest.

A survey of almost 1,300 human resource professionals showed a disconnect between white and Black HR staffers about just how big a problem racial discrimination is at their place of work.

In another survey of more than 1,250 workers conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 35% of Black employees said there was racial inequity at their job, compared to 7% of white workers who said the same.

What are the dynamics of race in the modern-day workplace? How far have American businesses come in terms of racial equality, and what problems persist? What new commitments should be made to really move the needle on workplace diversity and inclusion?

How does race matter in peoples’ experience of work and leadership? How can we build diverse and inclusive organizations, and advance racial equity at work? How does failing to do so impact employees' job satisfaction and performance, and overall health and well-being?

How can racial bias impact hiring practices, wages and salaries, workplace interactions, and advancement and leadership opportunities? In what industries and sectors are racial disparities most pronounced?

How widespread is race-based discrimination in U.S. workplaces? What issues are most pervasive and problematic, and how can employers, human resource professionals and co-workers help to address and eliminate them? What about implicit bias and micro-aggressions in the workplace?

What challenges and opportunities exist when it comes to creating and maintaining a diverse, equitable and bias-free work environment?


  • Adia Harvey Wingfield, Ph.D., professor of sociology, Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Arts & Sciences and vice dean of faculty development and diversity at the Washington University - St. Louis
  • Kim Tran, Ph.D., anti-racist consultant and author
  • Stephanie Creary, Ph.D., assistant professor of management in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Thursday, July 29.

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