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This Black Women’s History Week, Use DEIB to Honor the Black Women on Your Team

Updated: Feb 28


This week marks Black Women’s History Week, the overlapping time between Black History Month and Women’s History Month that celebrates the accomplishments and personhood of Black women. 


Black Women’s History Week celebrates the intersectionality of being both Black and a woman – a lived experience that places Black women at the margins of society, subjected to forms of racism and discrimination based on both their race and gender. While all women may share in the experience of living under patriarchy, Black women’s womanhood and autonomy are something we have historically been denied. 



The ways that the world has been socialized and taught to treat Black women significantly harm them in the workplace. And, at organizations not actively implementing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) principles, Black women are left without protection from racial aggressions that can derail their careers and personal lives. 


So, how can DEIB be used to enhance the lives of Black women at your place of work? Building off this theme for Black Women’s History Week, ShiftED Consulting provides a list of ways to make these changes by incorporating transformative DEIB principles. 


Build a Culture That Celebrates Black Women 

How a team celebrates their wins gives vital insight into their company culture. How do you acknowledge when your team hits a goal? What does rewarding your employees for excellent work look like? (Hint: it’s not a pizza party.)



Celebrating Black women beyond Black History Month and Women’s History Month means taking into account the ways that Black women have historically and systemically been denied the tools and resources needed to thrive. Companies that want to stay out of DEIB because of the politics of it ignore the fact that our places of work hold an immense amount of power to be able to shift the lived experiences of Black women immediately and tangibly. Celebrations in the form of bonuses, salary increases, and opportunities for growth, exposure, and development can all go a long way in affirming to the Black women on your team that they are valued. 


Create Conditions That Allow Black Women to Show Up as Their Authentic Selves

Civil rights legend Rosa Parks once said, “I will no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth that I hold deeply inside. I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person I know myself inwardly to be.” 


In corporate and other professional settings, Black women are expected to abandon themselves to fit in at their place of work. From frying our hair straight because it’s more palatable to White clients to having to engage in workplace culture and practices that are so far away from our actual interests, or having to dumb down our expertise and opinions for the comfort of others, acting as less than who we are is a form of protection many Black women have learned to do over time. 


DEIB can teach us how to create conditions that allow Black women to show up more authentically in their places of work. Assessing organizational culture should be an ongoing process. This data should always be analyzed using demographics to ascertain whether people have different experiences. Creating strategies to address gaps in organizational expertise is also critical. 

Ensure Black Women Have Access to High-Quality Profesional Development  

Black women are the least likely to receive actionable feedback on their work. This often leads to stagnation and an inability to progress. People managing Black women must understand their needs and advocate for professional development opportunities when they cannot meet them. 


In the Authentically Me Fellowship that I lead with my friend and colleague Rachel Vicente, we coach Black women and other women of color on how to unpack the ways that White supremacy culture and internalized racial oppression have impacted their confidence and sense of self-worth. Fellowships or providing access to one-on-one coaching from a DEIB practitioner can support the Black women on your team in processing their workplace trauma and give them the individualized support they need. By offering personalized feedback and mentorship, we empower them with actionable insights for professional growth and create an environment where their unique strengths can flourish, fostering a workplace that truly values and celebrates diversity.


This Black Women’s History Week and beyond, it’s critical to explore how DEIB can be used to transform your organization from the inside out and, above all, create space for the Black women on your team to thrive. Schedule a consultation with ShiftED Consulting today to begin your journey. 


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