Black History Month creates a quandary for some in the automotive industry. We all want to recognize, celebrate, and honor the contributions and achievements made by Black people everywhere, to celebrate racial pride, and to examine our commitment to ideals of equity, freedom, and racial justice.
On the other hand, we feel as though we are not doing enough as organizations to really foster diverse and equitable cultures. We don’t want to be vocal on social media during Black History Month while our employees wonder why we are not putting in the work to create inclusive cultures and celebrate diversity the other 11 months of the year.
So, what can be done? Do both – celebrate this month and take a sober look at what you and your company are doing to change the paradigm.
When social media posts go up and we plan ways of recognizing and educating around Black History Month, we can identify what we are not doing. We can then commit to do better- as individuals, as teams, as organizations and as leaders.
Black History Month is not only an important time to reflect on and appreciate the many contributions Black leaders have made to the automotive industry. It should also be a time to pause and think about the barriers that were overcome by those who came before us, and the barriers that still need to be dismantled for those who will come after us. Let’s celebrate… and let’s keep on doing the work to create a more equitable industry.