Recently, Dr. Ibram Kendi, a National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author, presented at Qlik. He addressed how, as a society, we must move from not being racist, to being antiracist, which requires individuals to speak out against racism and to take proactive steps that challenge institutionalized, systemic racism. To paraphrase Dr. Kendi, a position of neutrality or passivity only perpetuates the racist structures that must be dismantled, and we must consolidate our efforts to advance into an antiracist era.
Qlik’s Black Alliance Employee Resource Group (ERG), conceptualized in early 2020 and officially formed in June 2020, is committed to a mission that fosters an inclusive workplace for Black employees, creates clear paths to opportunity, attracts and retains the best talent, and promotes data literacy and brand awareness. To that end, the Black Alliance ERG will function across six working groups, each with responsibility for and oversight over related initiatives. Those initiatives include:
- Brave Conversations, which will be a conversation series regarding racism and its impact on Qlik employees;
- Culture & Talent Engagement, which will ensure we are recruiting and retaining employees from diverse talent pools;
- Executive Sponsorship, which will pair executive sponsors with Black employees to support them on their career paths at Qlik;
- Academic Outreach, which will engage with HBCUs to provide Qlik software and training grants;
- External Organization Engagement, which will collaborate with other companies’ ERGs, work to provide software and services grants for social justice organizations, and provide access to Qlik software, training and services to non-profit and Black-owned businesses; and
- Community Membership, which will engage with middle and high school students to promote data literacy and careers in tech and analytics.
Each of these programs will have Qlik members and leaders who will report back every three months to review successes and accomplishments and evaluate progress. And, I am glad to say, each of these programs will be global. Qlik employees will be encouraged to participate during their regular work hours in each country in which we have a presence, as we feel all Qlik employees should have the opportunity to get involved.
“As a company, we are a leader not only in data and analytics, but as a corporate social actor, fully aware of the dedication needed to combat racism,” said Julie Kae, Executive Director of Qlik.org. “My hope is that, as our Black Alliance ERG grows, so will our programming and the impact. There is much work to be done, and I am excited we will be a part of this vital international movement recognizing the need for a renewed and unblinkered view of diversity in the workplace and in culture.”
To learn more about the Black Alliance ERG, please feel free to email me and our accomplished Black Alliance ERG Co-Leaders, Kehinde Barkley and Feyi Obafemi, at BlackAllianceERG@qlik.com with any questions.