2020 has been a tough year for many people. But beyond anything, 2020 is a year of change. Opsani is committed to listening and learning about the ongoing discussion on racial inequalities, especially in our own backyard with Black Lives Matter Movement. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and want to ensure racial equality. 

Change starts with You and me. 

We understand that our commitment to true, systemic change will take time. So here are some steps we plan to take. Our first initiative is to implement more tactics to recruit from the Black Community. In our research, there were some ways to do this:

  1. Attend hiring fairs geared towards Black talent. This can be done through the attendance of college hiring fairs at HBCU Recruitment Fairs and within geographical areas. The important part to point out is that we will not only be looking at the top colleges, as there are many great historically Black colleges and universities, there are many other great ones with talented/gifted students who also deserve the opportunity of employment.
  2. Continue using blind hiring methods such as anonymized resumes. By evaluating the candidate’s skill, knowledge, and potential, free from any bias about his or her race, gender, or age we are better able to choose from a pool of diverse candidates, such as Black people, who might in some cases not be chosen due to their race.
  3. Posting our jobs on sites that will help us reach out more directly in Black communities. There are so many unknown biases and difficulty reaching the right audiences. We want to make our career opportunities accessible and convenient to the Black community. Therefore, showing up on platforms they use the most will allow us to reach out more efficiently as these platforms are tailored to uplifting members of the Black community.
  4. Encourage Referrals from Black Employees. By using the “Similarity Attracts” principle, we can attract more Black people into our pipeline. 

In addition to implementing techniques to hire more black people, we also will be having anti-racism conversations at work. It is important we discuss the untalked about. Talking about anti-racism can be very difficult, so here are the steps we are going to take to make sure this is as comfortable for our employees as possible. 

  1. People must first do research of their own. Reading books to examine the role of systemic racism in the U.S., supporting black community members through their businesses, donating to organizations that work to dismantle racist policies, talking about your own racism with family members or in therapy, protesting if that feels right and many other ways to show up.
  2. To start a difficult conversation is to acknowledge its difficulty and validate the other person’s feelings. Then get curious and ask open questions to better understand the other person’s viewpoints. Doing so with a compassionate tone can help the other party speak without fear of judgment, and by showing that respect, they will hopefully do the same for you.
  3. Break down emotional barriers to discussing uncomfortable topics. For example, educating our team members on more accepting and inclusive communication. Example phrases to teach might be:  “it seems as though you feel this way,” “out of curiosity, why do you feel that way” or “that’s an interesting point, but I have a few questions about that”, so the other person doesn’t feel defensive in explaining themselves.