Journey to Racial Equality by PepsiCo, Advancing Black Pathways by JP Morgan Chase, the New York Jobs CEO Council by CEOs from top-tier companies, and a new hiring initiative at Adidas are four examples of case studies detailing what specific companies in the U.S. are doing (or programs they are running) to hire black students and early career candidates.
1.) PROGRAMS TO HIRE BLACK STUDENTS AND EARLY CAREER CANDIDATES
PEPSICO — Journey to Racial Equality
- The Journey to Racial Equality is a PepsiCo initiative against racism seeking to address inequality issues and create job opportunities for all. The company is investing over $400 million over the next five years to run the initiative, which aims to
- Expand the company’s recruitment program with historically black colleges & universities and community colleges, increase the current black manager population in the company by 30%, and add 100 Black associates to PepsiCo executive ranks.
- “Implement mandatory unconscious bias training,” introduce a comprehensive suite of diversity and inclusion training resources, and increase partnerships with diverse institutions at its core schools.
- Establish a $25 million scholarship fund to support students moving from 2-year to 4-year courses. Support certificate and academic 2-year degrees via community colleges.
- Regarding businesses, the company aims to invest $50 million to support Black-owned small businesses, increase spending on Black-owned suppliers by about $350 million, and increase participation in Black voices through marketing content.
- PepsiCo is also investing $6.5 million to address systemic issues, $10 million to support Black-owned restaurants and $5 million to establish a Community Leader Fellowship Program.
Adidas New Hiring Initiative
- Adidas employees have been protesting for a while, asking the company to better support its Black workers. Consequently, the company has responded by a new hiring initiative to increase the representation of people of color in its U.S. workforce.
- The company wants to "fill a minimum of 30% of new positions with Blacks or Hispanics. It also plans to fund 50 scholarships yearly for Black employees at "partner" universities.
- The shoemaker, which also supports racial justice following the recent protests over the shooting of George Floyd, will donate $20 million over the next four years to fund three initiatives aimed at supporting Black communities. The initiatives include
- Adidas Legacy, a grassroots basketball program for underserved communities
- Adidas School for Experiential Education in Design, a program that supports individuals to start careers in footwear design.
- Honoring Black Excellence, an initiative the company says will honor and support Black communities through sport.
Advancing Black Pathways
- Advancing Black Pathways is a JP Morgan Chase initiative to help Black people "chart stronger paths towards economic success and empowerment" through education and career development.
- The program seeks to increase access to better education & training, improve educational opportunities, and improve Black students' job readiness.
- Over the next five years, the company wants to hire 4,000 Black students in positions like apprenticeships, internships, and post-graduation roles.
- JP Morgan Chase also wants to expand partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including other non-profit organizations, to provide career opportunities while assisting in developing Black students' professional and financial health.
- The company is also committed to increasing college graduation rates among Black students by ensuring they have access to better educational and training opportunities like their peers.
New York Jobs CEO Council
- The New York Jobs CEO Council is a group of CEOs from top-tier companies in the U.S. — including Accenture, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, and Microsoft, along with New York City-based higher learning institutions, to increase the hiring of minority individuals in New York.
- The New York Jobs CEO Council plans to hire about 100,000 students and individuals from low-income Asian, Black, and Latino communities by 2030. The group will "collaborate with educational institutions like the City University of New York (CUNY), community-based organizations, and nonprofit groups."
- A big chunk of the proposed jobs — approximately 25,000 will go to students from the City University of New York, according to Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, chancellor of CUNY, who acknowledged that young people in low-income and minority communities are the most affected in career development.
- The group will focus more on supporting Asian, Black, and Latino communities in low-income areas to succeed in their careers. The companies involved will collectively prepare and train low-income individuals from minority communities, offer them apprenticeships & internships, and hire them.
- Dr. Gail Mellow, the executive director of the group, said the group's "mission is to ensure people in New York's most vulnerable communities can access the skills that they need to pursue promising career pathways and benefit from the city's economic recovery."
2.) DETAILS AND BENEFITS OF PROGRAMS ENABLING DIVERSITY HIRING
The Equity Lab
- The Equity Lab helps organizations tackle issues of “race, equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) accelerating the creation of a more liberatory community-centered society that values the gifts and potential of all of its members.”
- The organization runs signature fellowships and long-term engagements to help individuals and partners understand the ecosystem they operate in, their identities, cultural and historical contexts.
- Its Nexus Fellowship supports leaders to build long-term organizational change around equity and race. On the other hand, the Seeding Disruption Fellowship supports educators and youth-facing professionals to apply equity-driven design thinking to solve problems.
- The Equity Lab establishes long-term relationships with its partners and empowers them to become agents of progress. Its engagements demand extensive collaboration with leadership and teams for about two years.
- The programs help organizations to transform via individual growth, new policies that factor equity, and an organization with vision for equity. The process involves three steps, including “evaluation & setting a common language, personal development & organizational change, and owning your leadership in the field."
- 228 Accelerator claims to “train designers for equity at all levels within schools and communities" to help improve societal relationships. It creates the ideal environment for success and catalyzes lasting change among individuals and communities.
- The organization seeks to create a new generation of school designers and schools that redevelops relationships for equity by providing resources that help them create new ways of learning, living, and working together.
- The relationships 228 Accelerator creates help educators and leaders to see the need for transformation and supports them to get started. It supports partners in their journey as equity-centered designers and in discovering equitable transformation.
- Overall, the organization benefits various partners, including schools, institutions, and communities to advance transformative ideas around race and equity.
America Needs You
- America Needs You facilitates economic mobility for determined, first-generation college students through transformative mentorship and intensive career development.
- The organization aims to address inequalities such as differing graduation rates between first-generation college students and their peers.
- 'America Needs You' has built programs that enable first-generation students to stay in school and develop advanced skills essential for long-term career growth.
- Organizations partnering with America Needs You “gain access to a highly motivated and diverse talent pool while providing volunteer and corporate social responsibility experiences to their employees.”
- Beyond 12 uses a student tracking platform and a customized coaching program to enable high schools, college access programs, and colleges support the academic, social, and emotional needs of students to prosper in higher education.
- The organization collects and shares the data across K-12 and higher education to provide students with personalized coaching solutions that help them earn college degrees.
- It also provides actionable feedback regarding students’ college preparatory efforts, enhances the retention work of colleges & universities, and starts conversation about student success.
- Beyond 12 partners, especially learning institutions benefit from support for their “alumni as they enroll in and persist through college.”
- The company also helps colleges and universities to improve student success and graduation rates.
- Braven believes that tomorrows great leaders will come from everywhere, on that note, the organization empowers potential college students with the essential skills & resources, confidence, experiences, and expansive career networks for post college careers.
- The organization focuses on “first-generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds, and students of color.” It aims to help them transition from college to strong careers.
- Partnering organizations, especially academic institutions benefit from a resume and LinkedIn profile, soft skills (virtual networking and interviewing), strategy skills, and a vast network of professionals and peers.
- Employer partners benefit from encouraging their staff to volunteer as leadership coaches, mock interviewers, and professional mentors.
- CodePath offers college students cost free “coding courses, mentorship, and career support to prepare them for careers in tech.” The courses are supported and sponsored by leading tech companies in the nation.
- Colleges partnering with CodePath benefit from supplemental courses in “college CS programs with innovative curriculums (iOS, android, cybersecurity) making students job-ready.”
- CodePath’s courses run for 12 weeks and focus more on Android, iOS, and cybersecurity. Students learn by building real-world projects.
- Partnering institutions benefit from new opportunities to train in tech
- Equally, the company’s partners gain access to industry-backed courses at over 50+ campuses.
3. ORGANIZATIONS BENEFITING FROM HIRING BLACK STUDENTS
Some companies and organizations benefiting from hiring Black early career candidates or Black students include Highmark Health, Covestro, and various learning institutions that have shown having Black principals increase the chances of hiring Black teachers, who benefit classrooms in many ways, besides enhancing the institution's diversity & inclusion strategy.
Hiring More Black Principals Boosts Diversity at Schools
- Studies conducted across U.S. district schools found out that schools hiring more Black principals were likely to attract and retain more Black teachers.
- The research notes that the presence of a Black principal at a school increases the chances of hiring and retaining new Black teachers by up to 7%. The study also purports that Black students perform better under the guidance of a Black principal even if Black teachers are not present.
- It was found that district schools perform better when they offer incentives to attract and retain Black teachers. However, the best way to hire more teachers and support them in schools is by increasing the number of Black principals. Teachers of color feel comfortable working under principals of color who can understand the challenges they go through.
- Black principals have vast networks and strong connections with historically black universities meaning they can help facilitate the hiring of Black students into teaching careers to form more diverse departments.
- Changing a school's principal from a White to a Black principal boosted the proportion of Black teachers in the school after five years by 5.3 percentage points in Missouri and 5.2 percentage points in Tennessee.
- In this regard, the studies suggest that changing the principals of schools to Black principals increases the likelihood of attracting, hiring, and retaining more Black teachers, as opposed to schools with White principals.
Pittsburgh’s Executive Leadership Academy
- Lonie Haynes, an African American and the chief diversity officer at Highmark Health, addresses the challenge of minority representation by twisting the Rooney Rule, i.e., instead of hiring one more candidate of color to a post, they are hiring two.
- Highmark Health uncovered that by hiring more minority individuals, the company achieves more diversity and enhances the opportunity to employ minority individuals from diverse backgrounds, such as Black students.
- Haynes is currently working with several companies in Pittsburgh, including MCAPS LLC, Duquesne Light Co., Randall Industries LLC, and the Pittsburgh Penguins to understand the strategies they use to attract, hire, and retain more Black professionals and executives.
- In 2018, the Pittsburgh corporate sector, city officials, and Carnegie Mellon University launched the Executive Leadership Academy to better and develop the regional presence of Blacks, including Black early career candidates in corporate and nonprofit leadership roles.
- Covestro and Highmark health are examples of companies in Pittsburgh with initiatives focusing on developing Black professionals by working with company recruiting teams and raising awareness around barriers. For example, Covestro has internship and training pools working with K-12, colleges, schools, and universities.
- Highmark Health, on the other end, believes that “supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce is more than the right thing to do and makes the company stronger as a business and more innovative as a group, positioning it to be highly effective at serving customers and communities.”
Extensive searches across various diversity & inclusion reports did not uncover case studies of companies benefiting from hiring Black students; however, the research team found reports about institutions that benefited from hiring Black professionals, including Black students. It turned out that the biggest benefit these companies gain is advancing their diversity & inclusion ideologies; however, most studies show that hiring Black students and professionals increases the opportunities of hiring from minority and low-income groups. In this regard, the report has focused on regional studies that show the impact of appointing more Black principals across American schools and regional programs that have increased hiring of Black professionals and the impact that hiring has had on the companies and the local diversity & inclusion outlook. Overall, the case studies uncover some strategies corporate America is deploying to improve diversity & inclusion, especially regarding the hiring of Black students and Black early career candidates.