Time for some pandemic buzzword bingo! These are unprecedented, unparalleled, unusual, unequaled, unmatched, unrivaled, uncommon and all around unpleasant times! You just won the U column on your Bingo card and the prize is that you get to keep playing over and over and over again!
The extraordinary thing is that we’re dealing with more than just a pandemic. (How can you say “just a pandemic”?) It’s true though. We’re dealing with a racial inequity issue that has been brewing for centuries (not just since the Civil War). A pandemic is probably an appropriate time (albeit a century or so late) to face this as well. Frustrations are high and being stuck at home glued to the TV is a pretty good time for some societal reflection. Unfortunately, the image isn’t necessarily what we hoped to see.
Winning the “U” column in the bingo game is appropriate.
The winners of a war are the ones that write the history books so is it surprising that racial inequities perpetuate? We are all driven to succeed and improve our lives. If we are starting from the winner’s circle it’s inherently easier to move forward. It’s also inherently hard by human nature to slow down or step backward even if it’s the right thing to do.
I am president of the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council and we are working on a collaborative position paper on health reform in the US with 11 other diabetes organizations. One of the stark observations through the research is the painful disparities in health access and outcomes of our minority populations.
African Americans with diabetes are 50% more likely to have their legs amputated than a white person with diabetes. This speaks to lack of access to care as this stat is largely driven by the 14 states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The rest of the country is actually seeing steady or declining rates of amputations. It also speaks to the economic inequality driven by the poverty rates in our minority communities.
People of color face discrimination absolutely everywhere. In places we don’t think about but need to think about. Clearly discrimination is happening in the police, judicial and health care systems. We also know that it exists in employment which brings me to Theoris. I don’t have answers, but I do have questions and a few ideas for us to consider.
What can we do in our world to find and fight our inherent biases? Does video screening help or hinder our progress? Are we looking for candidates in all of the places that we should? Are our interviewing tips and coaching sensitive to other cultures? What can we do to help our clients understand these biases in a way that helps them?
What charities should we consider supporting as a company that would help move the needle in our industry? Educational institutions? Counseling centers in minority neighborhoods? Youth programs in minority neighborhoods? Do we have the courage to volunteer there?
Author: George Huntley
George Huntley is the CFO and COO of Theoris. He has over 30 years of financial and operational management experience, including more than 20 years in a chief financial officer role. Mr. Huntley joined Theoris Group in 2001 and has responsibility for all financial, human resource, and administrative functions as well as operational oversight responsibility for all Theoris Group divisions.