RE: On behalf of BarPellam leadership, David Barfield, Brian Salkowski, and Marie France, below is a statement on Diversity and Inclusion from Marie France, VP of Client Services:
Dear Valued BarPellam Clients, Partners and Employees:
The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others in the black community has highlighted the need for further action to address the discrimination that permeates within the country. However, it is often difficult to find the right words to fully support employees, colleagues, families, and friends due to the high emotions that stem from dialogues around race. As a respected, minority-owned industry leader, BarPellam fully recognizes our obligation to share insights during this difficult time. Hence, in order to achieve this end, we want to reiterate some of the key foundations that will lead to greater success:
- Having a diverse workforce is not only the right thing to do, but it aids in innovation and corporate profitability. As many can appreciate, people of color are often bypassed and not visible at the executive ranks or key leadership positions. However, this absence not only creates an income disparity; it creates a disconnect between companies and their customer base. In order to minimize that gap, BarPellam recommends increased vigilance in our hiring practices and being mindful of our internal biases that can lead to a lack of diversity within the organization. As a talent advisor, BarPellam is positioned to share simple modifications to the candidate and interview process that can remove unknown biases in the selection process.
- Having interactive, honest conversations will generate increased minority spending within our programs. The relationship between BarPellam and clients should center on listening and developing a forum to share ideas on how to improve the level of diversity and inclusion in our contingent programs. Instead of merely reporting upon the volumes of diversity spend within our programs, we recommend honest, frank conversations around the roadblocks encountered and how we can collectively work together to become better stewards of the diversity goals and objectives held by our respective organizations. Furthermore, BarPellam stresses our commitment to making more introductions between our clients and diverse partners to help all parties achieve their goals and objectives.
- Every member of the organization can drive change. Solving the perils of discrimination is not something that solely resides with the executive team or community leaders. Through participation in diversity and inclusion trainings, involvement in community outreach, or listening to the experience of colleagues, we will all become more aware, and will truly embrace the framework for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
In closing, we understand that these actions alone will not fully eradicate discrimination within the United States or throughout the world. However, any progress is a step in the right direction and it’s a journey that we must take together.
Vice President of Client Services
Date: June 18 2020