Washington Employers for Racial Equity (WERE)

To actively work toward racial justice in employment and education, we must first have a foundational understanding of the systems, patterns of behaviors and ideologies that maintain institutional oppression and block opportunity for Black and Indigenous People of Color. The Office of DEI is partnering with Washington Employers for Racial Equity (WERE) to provide a curated page of links to websites, podcasts, videos and other resources that leaders can use in their organizations to support the unique challenges of Black and BIPOC employees.

Employment and education systems in the United States have a long history of perpetuating systemic racism rooted in anti-Blackness and the economic exploitation of Black and Indigenous Persons of Color (BIPOC). Since then, racism has adapted to a changing landscape and shows up deeply embedded in modern day employment and education practices. Here, In Washington state we see the impacts of racism and discrimination through disparities in employment, education, healthcare, and the criminal justice system (PDF). For some, it can show up in the everyday technology they use. We respond to these truths with a call to action for academic and business leaders to move collectively toward racial and social equity in their communities.

National research reveals that Black employees are:

  • Referred less frequently for job opportunities - women of color are referred 35% less than white men Payscale (PDF)
  • Called back less frequently for job interviews- white candidates with similar qualifications are called back 36% more than Black candidates - a gap that has persisted for 25 years (Harvard Business Review)
  • Afforded less access to senior leaders - two-thirds of Black workers nationally report having no access to their senior leaders Center for Talent Innovation (PDF)
  • Make up 1.6 %, or 6, CEO roles in Americas top 500 companies - 2 of these executives are Black women (Fortune)
  • Just over 5% of all full-time faculty members at colleges and universities in the United States are Black (JBHE)

4 Community of Practice Areas to Advance Racial Equity in the Workplace

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