How black execs on boards (and in corner offices) can do better about diversity

Many black people in corporate SA become complicit in covering up misogyny and forms of racial discrimination.

The silence or collusion of some black people (men is particular) in corporate culture continues to mask racism, sexism and bullying in the workplace.

Read: Eusebius Opinion: Is black senior management covering up sexism and racism?

Despite their own experiences of being marginalised, senior black professionals often fail to protect the workplace from institutional racism and sexism.

Mark Lamberti resigned from Eskom's board after he was sued for referring to former employee, Adila Chowan, as a female employment equity candidate.

LISTEN: Chowan: Lamberti has not taken responsibility for his sexist comment

But there's been no consequences for Lamberti's former colleague Thulani Gcabashe, who's been called out for covering up the grievance Chowan lodged.

Headhunter Zanele Luvuno says the few black individuals in C-suite job titles often struggle to change the corporate culture in untransformed organisations.

This is because they feel they have to assimilate in order to keep their positions or feel they do not have any power.

Also read: 'The workplace is not pro-woman' - panelists discuss sexual harassment

Luvuno says it is the duty of senior black professionals to bring diversity issues to the fore and provide support structures to air grievances about discrimination.

She argues that they should actively work to further diversity and inclusion in the workplace and champion minority rights.

We all have an ethical obligation to protect our workplace from racism, sexism and the like.

Zanele Luvuno, managing director at Transcend Talent Management

Working with top-tier black talent, it's been disheartening that candidates cite lack of support from other black people as one of the reasons for leaving an organisation - over and and above racism and sexism.

Zanele Luvuno, managing director at Transcend Talent Management

It's a very unfortunate reality that there is a disappointing number of black people sitting in a C-suite level that are doing less than the bare minimum.

Zanele Luvuno, managing director at Transcend Talent Management

Diversity and inclusion has to be at the core of company strategy. It has to be driven from the top and everybody has to be engaged.

Zanele Luvuno, managing director at Transcend Talent Management

It is the ethical responsibility of every single black person in a C-suite position to use their position of power to further diversity agendas within their organisations.

Zanele Luvuno, managing director at Transcend Talent Management

You are not off the hook. We see you and we are watching you.

Zanele Luvuno, managing director at Transcend Talent Management

Listeners called in to share their experiences and Luvuno discussed the role of black people in eradicating racism, sexism and bullying in the workplace.

Take a listen the engaging discussion on The Eusebius Mckaiser Show:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : How black execs on boards (and in corner offices) can do better about diversity


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