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In SHRM, Jessica Soto Explains How Equity Audits Address Racism in the Workplace

Practices: Litigation

An increasing number of companies, government entities, and non-profit organizations are looking to address racism in the workplace by conducting formal racial equity audits.

“Often driven by key shareholders, racial equity audits have emerged as a promising way to identify and address systemic bias and discrimination,” explained litigation & enforcement counsel Jessica Soto to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). “An effective audit holds up a mirror to an organization to examine what its values are and whether it is living up to those values.”

The goals for racial equity audits are different for each company. Typically conducted by an external law firm, the audit evaluates employer policies, procedures, and practices to identify and address systemic bias and discrimination and shows where the employer might be falling short in efforts to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. 

“Effective audits encourage real and sometimes difficult reflection and often additional future work,” said Jessica. “Once you have the data, you must also use it effectively to create change in the organization.”

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