Every February we celebrate Black History Month. This is a time when we highlight the achievements of Black leaders and visionaries, past and present, and their role in our nation's history.
Look around, and you will find Black History Month events in schools, churches, public spaces, and workplaces. There is no shortage of creative ideas out there. Here are some ways to thoughtfully celebrate Black History Month as a business.
While it’s great to celebrate Black History Month in your company, be wary of these common mistakes. Carefully avoid these if you want to make your company more inclusive.
While it's true that it's better to do something than nothing at all, if you wait until the last minute and throw something together, you indicate that celebrating the Black community is an afterthought, not a priority.
In some cases, Black History Month activities may include events/opportunities specifically for the Black employees at your company. However, like other diversity/inclusion projects, Black History Month should be company-wide and open to everyone. Not only does it help the community feel included and heard, it’s also an educational experience for the business.
Looking at how companies celebrate Black History Month, a common mistake is that they don’t highlight the voices of their Black employee leaders. Often businesses will highlight historical Black leaders which is a great learning lesson, but acknowledging internal employees is also important.
Sometimes, companies post things about Black History Month on their social media or websites, which is wonderful. However, if they are not backing this up with internal actions, the advocacy will feel inauthentic.
Advantis Global's Diversity Council ensures everyone’s voices are heard and valued. They help with internal racial equality initiatives and company culture improvements. By improving practices and morale internally, we are able to share the same values with our tech candidates.
On the other hand, some companies are doing things within the company and not backing it with external proclamations. Actions do speak louder than words, but promoting how your company celebrates Black History Month helps other businesses learn and follow, creating a positive ripple effect.
While it’s great to celebrate well-known Black leaders, such as Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and others, some more obscure leaders should be recognized as well. For example, many Black leaders have had significant impact in the tech industry.
While Black History Month is a dedicated time, the best way to celebrate Black History Month is to do it all year long. Inclusivity is an important factor candidates look for when considering a new position. Having on-going diversity and racial equality initiatives will help improve candidate sourcing, efficiency, and internal morale.
Now that we've looked at some of the common mistakes companies make when making plans for Black History Month let's look at a few ways to celebrate successfully.
Start by looking for Black leaders within your own company to spotlight them and their achievements/contributions. Create presentations that showcase profiles of these leaders and hold events for employees to meet and interact with them as well.
Use company emails to share information about Black History Month and Black leaders throughout history. You can also display information on bulletin boards and create a Black history timeline. Be sure to include trivia related to important moments in history, including key historical figures, prominent leaders, celebrities, and more.
Mentorship is a great way for the less experienced employees to be taught by the senior employees. This allows your employees to make new connections and build those relationships and get advice, support, and insight from others.
Advantis Global focuses on connecting people to opportunities. That means regardless of your skin color, preferences, or background, we see you as a person and value you for your skills and drive.
Allow us to connect you to new jobs in the tech industry, government sector, and creative industry. We’re here for you and are ready and able to help you find the next best job of your career.