Economic equity and genuine inclusion are the most pressing challenges when it comes to creating change. Systematic inequality and penurious economic opportunity have stifled Black progress for years. COVID-19, along with the complexities of recent racial unrest, has exposed many socio-economic deficiencies.
As a member of the leadership team of On-Target Supplies & Logistics, I have experienced firsthand the challenges of being a Black business leader. For generations, my family has built a business here in North Texas, and for generations, we have faced the same challenges of true equity and inclusion.
The only way to achieve real, resilient, and sustainable change is to deal with the deep-rooted disparities that exist. Although broad public support of racial equality in recent months from companies is appreciated and applauded, real change must come from boardrooms and C-Suites that go beyond public statements and social media posts.
Here are 4 ways to support racial equality in the workplace:
- Hire more Black businesses. Checking a box for the sake of reporting does not allow the programs like M/WBE (Minority/Women Business Enterprises) and HUB (Historically Underutilized Businesses) to fulfill their goals of achieving equity. Our company, On-Target Supplies & Logistics, has experienced large firms using our reputation and status as a minority business to win bids. Not only did we not receive notification of the awarded opportunity, but we also were never contacted to participate in the opportunity. This practice significantly hurts minority businesses, and it happens over and over again.
- Offer minority firms more remunerative opportunities. The profitability behind business transactions must become more equitable. Only then can small businesses have a real shot at success with longevity by investing in their talent, technology, and overall growth.
- Support workforce readiness training programs. Preparing youth and adults to enter into the new economy is imperative if we are to win the argument for future economic independence. These initiatives cannot be successful without leadership in C-Suites and boardrooms who are willing to speak up and challenge the status quo.
- Don’t sit on the sidelines. Dallas is a mecca of opportunity. It has a foundation of economic strength, is a sought-after business market, and our population is 25 percent Black. These dynamics make us ideal for establishing a new model of economic equity. We can take the lead and show the nation that real strides can be made.
Tré Black is president of TreCo Investments, an affiliate of On-Target Supplies & Logistics.