Championing Workplace Equity for the Common Good
Bobby Harris, BlueGrace CEO
December 3, 2021
As founder and entrepreneur of a hyper-growth tech operation headquartered in Tampa, one of the most divergent cities in the country, I’ve been in the unique position to build and support a robust organization from the ground up to benefit all of our stakeholders.
Understanding how the world works is my business.
A quote from Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai reads: “A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.” This line of thought lends credibility to the business model that the best workforces are the most diverse.
As the only man raised in a family of five Cuban women, I am glad to have developed keen insights, heightened sensibility and a level of understanding of the importance of women in the workplace. I was supported by a single mother and grandmother, as well as my older sisters. I don’t take this idea lightly. To that end, our company is sensitive to all genders on the job, particularly women, as we openly acknowledge the history of women in the workforce and the current state of the logistics and supply chain industry.
Our company is sensitive to all genders on the job, particularly women, as we openly acknowledge the history of women in the workforce and the current state of the logistics and supply chain industry.
Here are a few things our company has done to create equitable space for success for all employees and what other companies may want to consider in helping their organization grow.
Reinforce Recruitment Efforts From The Ground Up, Top-Down
In 2021, 60% of women graduated from college, compared to 40% of men. This statistic shows us that women are matriculating at a faster rate than their counterparts. Recruitment efforts, therefore, must take that into account: Women are more likely to find and recruit more women to join an organization.
Experience has shown me there’s no single way to recruit and retain top talent, regardless of gender. But given the numbers, there must be a better way to tap into an untapped labor force. As it stands, the ratio of women to men in supply chain is 20-80. BlueGrace is doubling the industry standard to lean into a more diverse workforce from entry-level to management.
Level Set Expectations By Laying The Framework
Equity ensures everyone is provided with what they need to succeed.
Equity ensures everyone is provided with what they need to succeed. In business, the best way to do this is to have a code of conduct and guidelines that are publicly available as a resource to everyone.
This should be communicated by management and human resources often to make sure employees understand their value.
We also offer paid leadership training opportunities as well as quarterly “Lunch and Learn” sessions with community and business leaders from diverse backgrounds that allow employees to engage on a deeper level.
Pay equity is also important for business growth. A good rationale that blends these ideas can be described as parity in pay, parity in opportunity, parity in experience.
Transcend Employee Bias
Having more women to work for, lead and own a company inherently makes it better for all genders, and here’s why: There is no secret sauce. All leaders have a responsibility to make sure their organization represents the clients, suppliers, communities and people they serve. While we all have implicit bias, it doesn’t have to hinder us from moving forward.
Women in professional spaces is not a radical idea. In fact, it’s strange that this could still be considered a point of contention in some circles.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to work in a place that lacks diversity — including diversity of thought.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to work in a place that lacks diversity — including diversity of thought. One must recognize diversity to get the most value out of it. I think that’s one reason why BlueGrace became one of the largest and fastest-growing tech-led supply chain organizations in the U.S. over the last 12 years. And we’re just getting started.