This month, we recognize Black Philanthropy Month and Black Business Month as a time to elevate the philanthropic contributions of Black entrepreneurs and business leaders. This is also an opportunity to evaluate corporate investment in BIPOC-owned businesses. In 2021, the number of new businesses in majority-Black communities doubled compared to 2019. However, Black founders receive less than 2 percent of all venture funds across the U.S. These economic ecosystems make it more challenging for BIPOC founders, investors, and employees to progress in their careers.
Increasingly, employees choose to work for companies with robust Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies and programs. Inclusive work environments promote employee satisfaction and better work culture, leading to positive outcomes such as hitting business goals and fostering innovation.
Despite the myriad of benefits, most companies are not representative of their communities, customers, and employees and do not know where to start with their DEI initiatives. In addition, a recent Triple Pundit report found that most CSR departments and DEI teams do not have BIPOC leadership.
Organizations with diverse leadership experiences and identities offer a more welcoming work environment. Thus, employees feel safe, seen, and encouraged to do their most authentic work. Here are some best practices mission-driven leaders have implemented to strengthen their DEI and CSR work:
- Align DEI and CSR to every aspect of your business. Every conversation should be rooted in your organization’s mission to create an equitable and inclusive environment.
- Identify what must change. If your company does not have DEI measurements, add them. If you are interested in how cross-sector partnerships can help you achieve your CSR goals, we would love to hear from you!