Racism. It’s an emotionally explosive word and one that some believe corporations have vehemently rejected as a serious problem in their organizations.

And while diversity and inclusion in the workplace have been championed in businesses across the globe, the reality is many people still are not treated equally and feel like they don’t have a voice. They earn less, are woefully underrepresented in top jobs, and struggle to get equal recognition and opportunity.

In the wake of the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others before them, it's beyond time to tackle this difficult subject head-on. Racism must end, and we need to accept that race—and all differences—do matter. It is only by addressing the inequalities caused by difference on the one hand and valuing that difference on the other that we can harness the true power of diversity.

Our webinar series

Our point of view

download the Korn Ferry race matters point of view
download the Korn Ferry race matters point of view

This collection of insights from our recent webinar series, Race Matters, discusses how leaders at all levels can take action to end racism in the corporate world.

Get the Guide

How we can help

How we help clients build diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces

Leaders and employees alike are struggling to find the right words, the appropriate intention, and meaningful actions to take when addressing racism. We offer a variety of sessions to help organizations have real, productive conversations that address today’s issues around race, bias, white privilege, and inclusion.

The race conversation with executives: A facilitated virtual classroom session to help executives and senior leaders wrestle with the challenges they face personally when talking about, and addressing, the complex issue of race and racism.

Let’s talk virtual classroom series: A series of one-hour interactive virtual classroom experiences designed to help organizations start conversations about race and bias now.

Getting started with real talk: A two-hour virtual classroom experience that provides employees with the tools necessary to start having real conversations about race and bias.

It’s time for organizations to have real, productive conversations that address today’s issues around race, bias, white privilege, and inclusion.

Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is not something that can be delegated. Change must be led by the CEO, and senior leaders must be aligned and fully accountable for the strategy and its implementation. They must also model the inclusive behaviors that will be essential at all levels across the organization to realize the full benefit of diversity.

  • We help CEOs shape their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) commitments and coach them on how to lead change.
  • We develop evidence-based DE&I strategies aligned to business and talent priorities.
  • We assess senior leaders against the Korn Ferry Inclusive Leader model and make recommendations on development areas.
  • We provide training and development to help leaders become fully equipped and accountable for the implementation of the DE&I strategy. All of these can be delivered virtually.

Moving organizations beyond diversity metrics to embrace inclusion requires 21st century inclusive leadership.

Many of the talent systems and processes designed to optimize human performance are in fact riddled with built‑in biases. And while those biases may have been introduced unintentionally, that hasn’t stopped them from undermining the progress of traditionally underrepresented talent at a deep and systemic level.

Structural inclusion is about putting equitable and transparent systems and processes in place that prevent unconscious-bias from occurring—and correct it when it does.

We will work with you to:

  • Undertake a rapid, but comprehensive diagnosis of talent management practices to uncover areas of bias.
  • Build transparent, equitable talent processes through inclusive design techniques.
  • Accelerate the talent pipeline by attracting and recruiting diverse talent at all levels, and uncovering internal hidden talent via increased access, opportunity, development, and
  • Run pay equity analysis and design inclusive reward strategies.
  • Build agile, smart, and inclusive teams that harness their diversity to outperform.

We use inclusive design techniques to build talent processes around the most overlooked user. Because if we can make them work for the exception, we’ll end up with a better solution for all.

Behavioral inclusion is about leading individuals on a journey of self‑discovery, alerting them to the biases that hamper their decision‑making, and equipping them to act on this new‑found self‑awareness by behaving in a more consciously inclusive way.

We will work with you to:

  • Help people become more inclusive in their daily work through learning experiences such as: Conscious Inclusion, Managing Inclusion, Inclusive Hiring and the Race Matters series. All of these can be delivered as virtual classroom experiences.
  • Reinforce inclusive behaviors though Korn Ferry Activators (tools, guides, micro-eLearning, videos)
  • Unleash the power of underrepresented groups through a wide range of high-impact development programs including:
    • Power of Choice for racially underrepresented and other groups
    • Advancing women worldwide
    • FastStart pairs onboarding

Nearly half of the participants on our Power of Choice programs reported that they had been promoted or moved to a more desirable position as part of the Power of Choice program.

Change is hard. And eliminating systematic racism is a journey that seems never ending. Driving through change quickly will require courage and leaders who can capture hearts and minds and bring the whole organization along with them.

We will work with you to:

  • Provide pragmatic and action-oriented guidance on how to make change happen – including what to prioritize and how to get started fast.
  • Develop a communication strategy and plan that incorporates listening channels and feedback loops.
  • Help facilitate dialogue and difficult conversations.
  • Establish governance mechanisms to track and measure outcomes.
  • Embed DE&I in the organization’s DNA through use of tools, technology, processes, and structures.

We provide pragmatic and action-oriented guidance on how to make change happen—including what to prioritize and how to get started fast.

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Our thinking

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Contact Korn Ferry today