Op-Ed POINT OF VISTA

Activism Through Hiring

By Patria Cabral, Global Product Director, RIA

In the past few weeks we all have been forced to wake up and face the fact that decades of ongoing inequalities, injustices and psychological oppression the African American community experiences are still very much alive today. Has the oppression worsened in the time of social media when they become avatars stripped of their humanity?

Policies perpetuating systemic racism and the latest images of police brutality have left me saddened, heartbroken and angry, but with a renewed sense of purpose to bring about real change and uplift our brothers and sisters of color.

In the past weeks, corporations have publicly condemned racism and I am hoping that more will be done. There needs to be a concerted effort to build a workforce and pipeline that includes African American talent.

Why should this be important? The benefits are clear, diversity in the workplace leads to increased creativity, innovation, faster decision making and more engaged employees. It also helps connect your product and services to a diverse audience in their voice and culture.

Many of you, myself included have been asking, ‘What can I do?’ The answer could be simple: donate, join a protest or express yourself on social media. These are all valid courses of action; however, I am pushing myself to take actions that will keep the momentum alive and the change ongoing. And with this goal in mind, I ask myself, ‘What do I control today that could be used to bring about the consistent change I would like to see?’.

As a hiring manager with the ability to impact balance and belonging in the workplace, I have made myself the promise to ensure that qualified African American candidates are part of the hiring pool. This will be accomplished by:

  1. Asking recruiters to source and submit resumes of African American candidates that fit the qualifications of the position
  2. Distribute job descriptions to African American alumni organizations focused on majors required for the position
  3. Join African American professional groups to build networks and share knowledge
  4. Continue to mentor students in STEM organizations that focus on people of color

My hope is that by sharing my goal and steps to achieve it, my fellow hiring managers include some of these hiring principles in your onboarding process.  If these don’t resonate with you, I hope that you find what will work for you by asking yourself the question: ‘What do I control today that could be used to bring about the consistent change I would like to see?’.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

As a Global Product Director with over 20 years of experience in user-centric digital experiences, across banking, telecom and e-commerce, Patria Cabral is obsessed with merging her knowledge as a product strategist with her Latina background to bring unique perspectives in the areas of: Payments and money remittance, Global product expansion, Unique user segments (Unbanked and Underbanked), Product marketing and launch, Web and Mobile digital solutions

Female empowerment, equal opportunity and economic advancement are causes close to her heart. Making time once a month to mentor teen girls in under-resourced communities, minority women pursuing degrees in STEM and minority founders in South LA. 

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