Earlier this year, SkyWater Search Partners was invited to join the Ramsey County Inclusive Workplaces Cohort. The group had its first monthly meeting in October 2021. We would love to share each month what we have learned through being a part of this Cohort.
What is the Inclusive Workplaces Cohort?
The goal of the cohort is to accelerate employers’ ability to advance racial equity and inclusion within their organizations and to support businesses that aim to leverage and sustain a more inclusive and sustainable workforce. Approximately 20 employers were be selected to participate and influence their organization’s hiring strategies and efforts. The Center for Economic Inclusion leads each discussion by creating a learning environment that fosters the discussion and sharing of ideas while encouraging accountability through safe and brave spaces for confidentiality.
October Discussion and Take-Aways
As with many first meetings, October's meeting was largely introductory. We had a chance to get to know the other members of the Cohort. Companies included are generally small to mid-sized in a variety of Industries, headquartered in Ramsey County. All have a commitment to diversifying their organization and were refreshingly honest about being nervous about clumsily saying something politically incorrect or offending anyone accidentally. Overall, this will be a really great, genuine group to have discussions with.
Beyond introductions, we explored the topic of how long-standing employer traditions might be shrinking the diverse candidate pool in ways we don't recognize today. For example, is it standard at your company to require a four-year degree? Four-year degrees are not as easily obtainable for many people of color. By requiring a four-year degree on a job description, an employer may be deterring valuable talent. from even applying.
The same can be said for requiring cover letters along with each resume submitted. Many people have never written a cover letter before, or have been taught how to write a cover letter. Resumes might be tossed to the side for a cover letter that appears to have been written poorly when in actuality, it was written by a talented individual who hails from a non-white culture or speaks English as one of the several languages.
Upcoming Session Topics
We're very excited for our next meeting on November 11, where the topic is Engaging Key Members and Leaders In The Racial Equity Discussion. We'll be posting a blog after each Cohort session so please subscribe to this blog and join the conversation.
Here is the posted schedule through August 2022: