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12 Actionable Next Steps for Business Leaders

Published on June 25, 2020  |  By: RubiconMD

On Friday Juneteenth, our Co-founder and CEO Gil Addo moderated a live 75min webinar featuring an esteemed panel of Black Healthcare Leaders – Julian Harris, MD, Partner at Deerfield Management Company, Toyin Ajayi MD, Chief Health Officer and Co-founder at Cityblock Health and Errol L Pierre, Senior Vice President at Healthfirst – on Racism, Inequality, and the US Healthcare System in partnership with The Healthcare Club and NYC Health Business Leaders.

In an outstanding turnout, nearly 1200 people registered to learn more about how Covid-19 has exacerbated health and economic disparities for communities of color and what business leaders can do amidst the current unrest to help move our country forward. We are heartened by the level of engagement in this meaningful conversation and would like to share actionable next steps coming out of our conversation in hopes of enacting change.   

  • Educate Yourself by reading The Best of Enemies that Julian Harris recommended and The Economic Benefits of Reducing Racial Health Disparities. You can also check out the wealth of resources available here on “How to be Anti-racist.” 
  • Ensure Pay Equity among all employees to end the perpetual cycle of pay gaps between gender and marginalized groups who are less likely to counter offers.
  • Hire a Chief Diversity Officer who will report to the CEO so they have sufficient influence and don’t merely take the role of “event planner” or “statistician.” 
  • Diversify Your Organization to improve performance. If the organization you work for doesn’t look like America, ask yourself why not and learn what you can do about it.
    • Diversify your board, C-suite, executive team, managers and analysts 
    • Don’t recruit from your networks if they are not diverse
    • Develop a diverse pipeline for roles across each function
    • Invest in organizations that have African American and women leadership
  • Ask D&I Experts to help you diversify your workplace and ensure that work is properly compensated for and not relegated to “the side of the desk.” 
  • Measure What Matters so corporate leaders are held accountable for outcomes that promote equity and ensure stakeholders are aligned with your goals. 
  • Create Safe Spaces for people to share their stories so you can determine what is acceptable behavior and part of company DNA and what will not be tolerated anymore.
  • Counter Microaggressions in the workplace by teaching employees how to navigate, identify and proactively rule out microaggressions when they see them. 
  • Have the Hard Conversations with people who you know who harbor resentment towards blacks or marginalized communities because, over time, people can change. 
  • Support Medicaid Expansion to help close the coverage gap for uninsured poor adults in certain states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid under the ACA.   
  • Invest in Police Reform that re-trains and diversifies law enforcement officers to establish trust within the communities they serve.
  • Share the Work by engaging other members of the white community to take on this responsibility because these are not just “black problems.” 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” – Lilla Watson 

Dr. Ajayi says “even though its a challenging time, there is joy in doing the hard work with people who are passionate around a shared mission of building an anti-racist company.” We are grateful to have a professional community that is willing to do the work with us so that together we can create a more just society for everyone.  

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