Our audience will gain a greater understanding of the inequity of the pandemic, its harsher impact on women of color. In addition, our audience will learn how to address and respond to the needs of their employees who are people of color and/or female.
Covid-19, with its ever-changing variants and twists and turns, has undoubtedly taken a harsh toll on the economy, on labor shortages in the workforce, and on the collective and individual mental health of our society. However, the pandemic of discrimination – implicit bias and overt bias – has been exacerbated by Covid – particularly against people of color / women of color in the workforce.
On the next episode of Employment Law Today, my guest is Emily Williams, DEI Consultant, Coach and Advocate for women of color, and Founder of Forward Ever Global. We will discuss the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women of color, from the perspective of the *employees* who live this reality.
About Emily Williams:
3:13 – 17:10 – Eric opens tonight’s episode welcoming his guest, Emily Williams, a consultant, coach, and advocate for women of color, and founder of Forward Ever Global. The topics for tonight’s conversation deal with the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women of color in the workplace looking at the perspective of employees who experience these issues. Williams talks about how her career started. Her first job out of college was working with adults with mental illness. She went back to school to work on her Masters Degree on Women and Gender Studies. Williams has always been an advocate for people of color and women of color. She has helped women across the globe to open up and address harassment in the workplace. Eric asks Williams about how the pandemic has shed a light on existing issues with gender bias and other kinds of discrimination. Williams brings up issues like pay rate. Women of color are also less likely to have access to savings and other kinds of support such as financial support during the pandemic when many were losing their jobs and loved ones.
19:24 – 30:21 – Eric talks to Williams about working from home as well as implicit bias. Williams says that a distinction that she has seen is between women of color who were able to work from home and women of color who had to show up on the front line such as healthcare workers and other service industries. Those who had to show up to their workplace were more vulnerable to catching the virus, but it was people of color who were risking their health and having less financial resources compared to white healthcare workers. There’s also a distinction in pay rate as well for instance. She also says that she believes that women of color who worked from home were able to realize the truth of the racial trauma that there is in the workplace that affects diversity, inclusion and overall wellbeing. Williams makes a point that 1 in 3 women are ready to leave their jobs and it’s usually a woman of color. She hopes that the issues coming to light due to the pandemic can create positive change moving forward.
32:26 – 44:19 – Coming back from the break, Eric and Williams talk about women now noticing more of the real issues and toxicity that is still present in the workplace. One of the most important things that Williams stresses to business leaders is that they should listen to their employees with how they feel about the culture in employment and the workplace. But she says that it is hard to recognize whether a busines owner is aware or may be ignoring the discrimination that occurs in their business. When employees feel heard and supported, they are likely to stay at their workplace much longer and actually enjoy what they do. Williams says that employers may shy away from admitting or recognizing dicsrimination due to fear. It may be hard to admit that these kinds of bias exist in a workplace for several reasons such as fear of lawsuits, reputation, etc. But she encourages them to be involved. It doesn’t have to go to the extent of a lawsuit to address these issues.
46:19 – 58:15 – Coming back from the final break, Williams talks more about different things that have come up since the start of the pandemic. She says that there’s a call to go beyond ‘diversity statements’ and to actually implement acceptance of diversity and policies that help inclusion in the workplace. Employees want inclusion and they want to be valued and have a safe workplace. Williams and her consulting firm Forward Ever Global have a 4 part process that helps businesses work on improving their workplace and address microaggressions. They look at their current policies and advise any changes as well as one on one consultation with employers and business owners. They look at whether there are any exclusions of people of color and if there are negative impacts on those groups. Forward Ever Global also works with businesses on a national level, not just on the East Coast. But a firm like Forward Ever Global doesn’t just rely on women of color to come forward to address policy changes that need to happen, but they also need organizations and companies to be proactive in coming together in making a better workplace. Williams encourages business owners and leaders to really listen to women of color who come forward in the workplace. You can find Emily Williams on Linkedin at Emily R. Williams, learn more about her work at forwardeverglobal.com, and you can also contact her at email@example.com.
About Employment Law Today
Helping Business With Employment Law Issues.
For many business owners, it can be overwhelming to keep up and comply with the federal and state labor and employment laws that govern how they run their business. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there are new laws and regulations regarding hiring, firing, and workplace practices and protocols — all of which can increase business owners’ anxieties about regaining traction or thriving again. On my weekly show, we will be discussing the most common employment law related questions and challenges that business owners have been facing in these uncertain times.
The show will have three main goals: (1) to inform businesses about employment law updates, (2) to inspire businesses by giving them the tools to move forward, and (3) to demonstrate how some business owners have overcome their employment law problems, walked through the challenges imposed by this pandemic, and have taken steps to regain traction during the reopening phases of this pandemic.
Our guests will include professionals who advise businesses from an H.R., legal, and financial perspective, along with thriving business owners who will share their experiences and insights into running a successful company while complying with labor and employment law mandates during COVID-19.