Create better workplaces by eliminating racism by SHRM President and CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP

1 Jul 2020 2:47 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

This weekend, SHRM leadership met and emerged with a powerful vision for how we can lead forward on equity in the workplace and mitigating racism, particularly among Black Americans and other communities of color. It’s important to me that we share our thinking in response to your inquiries and interest on this important topic.

SHRM will be announcing a definitive and significant course of action: to convene the best minds to drive actions and solutions around equity in the workplace for the Black community. Our working title for this is “Together Forward @Work” with an initial focus on addressing racism in the workplace. Over the coming weeks you will hear more about this initiative and how we will further demonstrate our commitment.

Our first action is to establish a Blue Ribbon Commission that brings together the collective voices of those who can lead the way toward action, accountability and ownership. It’s clear, that after decades of actions, we need to find new and innovative ways to create the inclusive, diverse and safe world our members and their companies are desperately seeking, which is why this Commission is so critical. They will include contributors in positions of power and with critical expertise within SHRM and beyond. We will look to the Blue Ribbon Commission to strategize and co-create a robust set of actions that will also drive a longer-range agenda on diversity and bias.

The convening of this Blue Ribbon Commission is a significant and meaningful first step for our organization. We believe this is the right way for us to begin to contribute resources and create impact. The power of our 300,000 members to directly impact the lives of people where they often spend a majority of their days – at work – is enormous. And it comes with a significant responsibility to be substantive in how we serve. We are confident this will live up to that responsibility.

Finally, I recognize you are the front-line leaders to help your organizations manage through these extraordinary times of health, social and racial injustice. I am enormously proud of the power and positivity HR professionals bring to the table right now for business and society. We all know better workplaces = a better world and if all people are equitably represented in the workforce, everyone will achieve “better” even faster. While the Blue Ribbon Commission is busy at work, we encourage you to visit our Workplace Bias web page as a resource to support you today.

We look forward to the progress we can make together and will share more in the coming weeks. 


Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP 
SHRM President & CEO 

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