Ongoing violence and racism against black lives, culminating in the highly publicized deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, was impacting our employees’ ability to live and work. Our people sought a safe space to open up and share their thoughts, feelings, worries and ideas as a group. They also called on Point B to respond directly to the impact of violence and injustice on black lives.
In May 2020, senior leadership held a series of small group discussions for employees to share what was on their minds, seek to understand, ask questions, or simply connect with fellow colleagues. In June, over 250 employees participated in one of 17 Day of Commitment discussions held across the firm. As part of these discussions, employees shared what they felt Point B should be doing to combat racism both within our firm and in our larger communities. Senior leadership continues to have ongoing meetings with our People of Color (POC) Business Resource Group (BRG) for storytelling, accountability and candid discussions.
60 recommendations for action, change and accountability came from our Day of Commitment discussions, and five, key areas emerged for Point B’s focus: accelerating the recruitment of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) candidates, expanding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training, increasing BIPOC representation in leadership positions, setting and measuring goals for the firm, and supporting the community. Point B quickly mobilized on an anti-racism roadmap to follow through on these key areas and issued an anti-racism statement: “Point B will not stand for systemic racism, inequity or injustice. Anywhere. We are committed to being and acting for others. We are committed to listening, learning, understanding and taking tangible action to create change.”
In today’s world, it is impossible to consider yourself a leader if you aren’t willing to engage in difficult conversations or walk in someone else’s shoes. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts are centered around ensuring that all Point B associates can thrive in an organization where they have a sense of belonging and ownership. This is only possible if we are willing to recognize where we have work to do, and then put actions in place to challenge the status quo.