Star Carter is the chief operating officer of Kanarys – founded in 2018 to help companies build more inclusive work cultures.
She said it’s time for companies to dig deeper into diversity, equity and inclusion.
To do that, management must take a hard look at company culture and ecosystems and ask whether policies and procedures apply equally and fairly among all their employees. Carter said many companies are finding their policies are not as inclusive or equitable as they’d thought.
She said the death of George Floyd and subsequent summer 2020 protests were turning points for her company.
“We’ve seen our inbound leads increase four times with respect to companies call us,” she said.
She said company leaders must understand diversity, equity and inclusion involve more than mission statements. In today’s climate, employees should feel their personal experiences are welcomed at the table.
“They’re bringing all this with them,” said Carter. “These are in-depth emotions that are being brought day-to-day. And if you want your employees to bring their authentic selves to work, they’re bringing that with them.”
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Just as Carter looks at the inner workings of corporations, the same is being done in law enforcement. BJ Wagner with the Caruth Police Institute at UNT Dallas, said equity in policing starts with acknowledging that implicit bias training simply isn’t enough.
“You still don’t leave that class with changed behavior. You leave that class with knowledge, but not practical skills on how to address that knowledge,” said Wagner.
The Institute partnered with Dallas Police and other departments throughout North Texas for Active Bystandership in Law Enforcement Training or “ABLE.” The ABLE Program is designed to avoid mistakes and prevent misconduct by giving officers tools on peer intervention.
“We teach them how to effectively intervene prior to this misconduct or mistake happening. Without creating more of an issue on the scene. Without creating discourse with the officer and without preventing harm to anybody in their communities,” said Wagner.
Whether in policing, corporate or any other industry, Carter says it boils down to intentionality on the part of leadership to create a more equitable workforce and community.