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3 Key Takeaways from Jopwell Talks 2024

Estimated reading time ~ 2 min
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Last week, Jopwell hosted its annual summit Jopwell Talks 2024, where we explored and celebrated what it means to be a person of color in the workplace. Not only did this year’s summit bring together DEI leaders and partners in Jopwell's community to explore, discuss, and celebrate people of color in the workplace – we also gave our community a seat at the table to have authentic conversations and share their thoughts on diversity in the workplace.

When you gather 100 Black & brown leaders in a room, each with an average of over 7 years of experience navigating almost every possible corporate function, and invite them to talk about that experience…

Well, you are going to get the real tea.

Here are the biggest lessons Jopwell took away from our members last Friday:

Professionals of color go through the same stuff–just in different departments.

The stories being shared about lacking access to power and opportunity, dealing with macro- and microaggressions, and overall bias at work all had one thing in common: they transcended race, age, tenure, and company function. It was rough to see how much hasn’t changed for Black & brown professionals out there, but we also heard that safe spaces like Jopwell Talks, where professionals of color can share and process these stories with each other, are crucial for them to keep moving forward in the workplace.

Companies need to walk it like they talk it.

Psychological safety was overwhelmingly the biggest factor members told us they look for in choosing whether or not to work for a new company. For Black & brown candidates, seeing themselves represented not only within the company but also in the hiring process is crucial. It signals to candidates of color that the company understands how to manage and lead individuals with their specific lived experiences, including how to provide constructive feedback, avoid unintentional racial aggressions, and address biases. And Black & brown candidates can tell when a company trains their managers & leaders on these issues and when they don’t!

It truly takes a village to move through corporate.

Corporate professionals of color need strong allies, sponsors, and leaders to help them navigate through and ultimately thrive in the workplace. Being a mentor to an up-and-coming Black & brown professional is just as important as finding one for yourself. Sponsors can do more than just open doors at your current company; they can help you network to a better one. Most importantly, true leadership means everyone–from individual contributors up to the C-suite–has to speak up and speak out against bias & inequality whenever and wherever they see it–including when they see it in themselves.

Stay tuned for more takeaways from Jopwell Talks this year, and what’s next on Jopwell’s calendar in the coming weeks & months!

Jopwell helps America's leading companies connect with and recruit Black, Latinx, and Native American professionals and students at scale. Sign up to find your dream job.