Black employees in Silicon Valley are helping to make their companies more diverse — but the job is often unpaid and time consuming

In trying to improve diversity and inclusion, some business leaders are creating extra work for Black and brown workers.Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images
  • Companies are facing increased calls to bolster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their workplaces in the wake of nationwide protests against racism.
  • In response, some tech executives have turned to employee resource groups (ERGs), tapping Black and brown employees to help coordinate events, draft statements, hold panel discussions, and provide feedback on DEI, The Washington Post reported.
  • These contributions are often unpaid and time-consuming, employees said.
  • Seventeen current and former leaders of company employee resource groups in the tech world told the Post they worry that leaders are seeing their work as replacement for other changes that need to be made.
  • Some even said they worry championing DEI could hurt their careers.
  • Tina Opie, an award-winning researcher on DEI and an associate professor of management at Babson College told Business Insider that research shows white people often get praised for championing diversity efforts, while people of color are more likely to be seen as "demanding" and could face setbacks.
  • ERG leaders, as well as DEI experts, are calling for ERG members to be compensated for their work, the Post reports. They're also asking their company's leadership to hire more DEI experts at the executive level to develop wide-ranging programs and policies.
  • There are proactive steps companies can take to dismantle systemic racism in the office, including promoting people of color, listening to stories about discrimination, and collecting workforce data, among many other things, Business Insider previously reported.
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