FastCompany | February 9, 2021
With COVID-19 vaccine distribution in progress, many economists are cautiously optimistic that a slow economic recovery is on its way. But we can’t afford to make the same mistakes that were made after the Great Recession of 2008, when the recovery largely overlooked Black talent—particularly individuals without four-year college degrees.
For the American economy to prosper, we need to guarantee opportunities for those who have been systematically left out and left behind, and it’s up to corporate America to live up to its promises to support racial justice reforms. Following the murder of George Floyd and the nationwide protests it inspired against systemic racism, we’ve seen many companies make noteworthy commitments—from donations to CEO-led coalitions like OneTen and the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative.
But there’s another solution businesses can implement today to support racial equity: address degree inflation in their employment practices. By requiring a bachelor’s degree for jobs that don’t require that level of education experience, employers automatically exclude 76% of Black Americans.
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