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How To Have Difficult Conversations About Race At Work

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: People protest during a Black Lives Matter rally in Newington Green on June 13, 2020 in London, England. Black Lives Matter Rallies continue across the UK following the death on 25 May 2020 of an African American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police. His death sparked protests across the United States as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
People protest during a Black Lives Matter rally in Newington Green on June 13, 2020 in London, England.

The killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis and the ensuing protest movement has sparked difficult conversations about race in many different spheres, including one that can feel especially sensitive and fraught: the workplace.

The killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis and the ensuing protest movement has sparked difficult conversations about race in many different spheres, including one that can feel especially sensitive and fraught: the workplace. 

Some organizations have chosen not to address recent events, or did so only after outcry from within the company. Others have hosted discussions with perhaps the best of intentions that ended up serving no one, or worse, creating conflict. For example, LinkedIn recently received attention for a virtual town hall with its employees where controversial anonymous comments were made about race and diversity.

So how can an organization facilitate a conversation about race, especially now, when we’re all working remotely? How should approaches differ in different settings, for example an office versus a restaurant? How can an environment be created where people feel that they can speak up and not be judged for making mistakes? And if a company is lacking in diversity, how can they effectively discuss race? 

We sit down with assistant professor of management at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business Stephanie Creary to discuss. 

Plus, we want to hear from you. Whether you’re management or an employee, whether your workplace had a great conversation about race or an unconstructive one, what have you experienced in the past few weeks? Call us at 866-893-5722.

Guest:

Stephanie Creary, assistant professor of management at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business; her research interests include identity, diversity and inclusion and relationships across difference 

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