It's Time to Talk about Race at Work: Every Leader's Guide to Making Progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

It's Time to Talk about Race at Work: Every Leader's Guide to Making Progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

by Kelly McDonald


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It's time the business world got the actionable, impactful, no-cost strategies needed to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace 

Many white leaders want to create change but don't know how to do so appropriately and effectively. How do you know where the blind spots are that can create obstacles for people of color? Your intentions may be sincere and heartfelt, but intentions aren't enough. 

In It's Time to Talk about Race at Work, acclaimed speaker and bestselling author Kelly McDonald delivers a much-needed roadmap for businesspeople. This book will help you successfully create a fair and equitable workplace that recognizes diverse talent and fosters productive and constructive conversations in your organization. Its Time to Talk about Race at Work does not approach diversity from the standpoint of social activism or an HR perspective. Instead, this book shows you exactly what to do and how to do it so that you can make real progress on diversity and inclusion, regardless of the size of your organization.  The authors clear, real talk style makes it easy to learn: 

  • The costs and risks youre incurring if your organization lacks diversity  
  • How people who dont consider themselves to be racist may still have diversity blind spots 
  • How to start the hard conversations you may not know how to approach 
  • The STARTING Methodan eight-step framework that shows you how to ensure your diversity and inclusion efforts are effective  
  • How to recognize the excuses people use to avoid taking action on diversity and inclusion 
  • How to address the issues and comments that come up when employees feel nervous, resentful, or uncomfortable as you make headway on diversity in your organization 

Perfect for executives, managers, and leaders in organizations of all types and sizes, Its Time to Talk about Race at Work is also for employees who want to improve their organization by leading by example. 


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119790877
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 06/09/2021
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

PART I If You’re Not Racist, What’s the Problem? The Biggest Mistakes People (and Businesses) Make

Chapter 1 This Book Is for Everyone, but Especially White Readers

Most White people would rather not talk about race

Whthis book is for (I’m betting you fall intone of these categories)

What this book is—and isn’t (Hint: It’s not a book about activism or social injustice)

Chapter 2 You’re Not Racist, but You Have Blind Spots

Bias can lead tblind spots

Don’t be defensive: we all have bias—even babies have bias

The weird things we dtjustify our business decisions

Chapter 3 The High Cost of Bias: Why All-White or Mostly White Businesses Make Less Money

How one of the biggest (and almost all-White) industries lost customers and revenue—and how they fixed the problem

Signs that your business may be missing out on opportunities

Chapter 4 The Business Case for Diversity

Discover diversity’s “secret sauce”—the one monumental ingredient that makes diversity rock

And what happens when that ingredient is missing

Chapter 5 The Excuses People Use tAvoid Doing Anything about Diversity

“We can’t find any qualified diverse candidates”

“We hire for quality, not for color”

“It would be unfair ta more qualified candidate”

“We already know a very good candidate in our network”

“We hired/promoted a diverse person once and they failed”

“Our customers won’t be comfortable with a diverse person”

“Our competitors aren’t diverse either, sit’s not a problem”

“We looked intdiversity—it’s toexpensive timplement”

Chapter 6 Well-Intentioned Things White People Say That Are Hurtful or Offensive tOthers

“I don’t see color/I don’t care what color you are”

“I treat everyone the same”

“I’m not racist or biased”

Three better ways texpress that you value diversity and aren’t racist

Chapter 7 Why Your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts Haven’t Done the Job

Five big reasons

At work, the subject of racism has been tabo

Specific ways tstart conversations about race with colleagues

In one-on-one conversations

In a meeting

Corporate America gets real and acknowledges failures

Why we have tstop singing “We Are the World”—and be brave enough tuse the word racism

PART II How tTalk about Race at Work

Chapter 8 How tTalk about Race in Helpful and Positive Ways: Do’s and Don’ts

EEK! Why is this shard?

Sincerity matters

Don’t apologize for being White, but acknowledge that people of color are often treated differently than Whites in our society

Start small: six ways tstart the conversation on the right foot

What tsay, what NOT tsay—and why

How thandle friction or conflict in constructive ways

How trecover when you’ve blown it unintentionally

Chapter 9 Answers tTough Employee Questions and Racist Remarks

“Shouldn’t we just hire the most qualified person?”

“All this talk about race—we’re all one race, the human race!”

“I came from nothing and pulled myself up by my bootstraps. None helped me. Why dwe need tdsomething special for minorities?”

What tdif an employee makes a racist statement online

Chapter 10 Where tStart When You Don’t Know Where tStart: Eight Steps tMaking Progress on DE&I

Everything you feel comfortable doing is something you had tlearn—you can learn how tdthis, to

The STARTING Method: Sincerity, Transparency, Acknowledgment, Respect, Tools, Investment, Nurturing Talent, Goals

PART III Making Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Real

Chapter 11 How tBuild Business Relationships with People Different Than You

A brewery serves “diversity on tap”—and makes its mark in a non-diverse community

What if I don’t know any people of color?

Truth breeds trust—be upfront and honest about your diversity issues and goals

Show up and help first before you ask for help

Personal contact, interaction, and conversations bring about more behavior and attitude change than training

Chapter 12 What tDIf You See or Hear Casual Racism or Sexism at Work

Doing nothing creates one of twkinds of guilt

Personal guilt

Collective guilt—this one is worse

The bystander effect

Five effective tactics tuse, whether you’re the target or a bystander

Chapter 13 Recruiting and Interviewing Diverse Candidates

Eliminate inherent bias

Stop “picturing” your ideal candidate

Rewrite your job descriptions tremove bias

Do’s and don’ts for writing more inclusive job descriptions

How tfind diverse talent—six effective no-cost/low-cost tactics

How tinterview diverse candidates—six best practices

Chapter 14 Mentoring, Networking, and Checking In: Three Big Ways You Can Help Your Diverse Employees Succeed

It’s not coddling—it’s your job

Their success is your success

Your support is not favoritism: four reasons why it’s fair

Your advocacy can be a game-changer

PART IV Lead Your Colleagues, Customers, Partners, and Employees

Chapter 15 The Leader’s Role: Guiding and Setting the Example

If you are a White male in a leadership role, you can have a greater impact than anyone

Your views on diversity are seen as “neutral” and credible (not sfor women and minorities)

Here’s your chance tmake a real difference

Lead by example—walk the talk

It starts with naming the elephant in the room—if you can’t dit, whcan?

Foster safe discussion of touchy issues by modeling how taddress them head-on

What tsay and dwhen horrific and racist things happen in the world—eight do’s and don’ts

Chapter 16 Reducing Tokenism and Bias: Give Your Diverse Employees and Suppliers a Genuine Seat at the Table

Five do’s and don’ts for avoiding tokenism in hiring

Twkey steps tavoid tokenism in professional development and promotions

Chapter 17 Dealing with Naysayers and Derailers

Three ways tdeal with naysayers

The different types of derailers and their motivations

You can change the people—or “change the people”

Chapter 18 You’re Not Finished. Keep Trying. Keep Evolving.

Worst thing you can do: “launch and abandon”

Do’s & don’ts for maintaining traction

Assess progress/address problems

Don’t be afraid trefine it along the way

Expect teducate/and repeat/and repeat

Keep your ear tthe ground/listen tthe hallway chatter

Celebrate success

Set new goals and strategies tstrengthen ongoing efforts

Appendix Helpful Terms and Resources

Helpful Terms



Definitions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion



Structural Racism

Systemic Racism

White Privilege

Helpful Resources

Best Job Boards for Diversity and Inclusion

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Diversity

LinkedIn’s Diversity Recruiting Guide

Energetic Awakenings

Customer Reviews