Investing in Black Talent - Crystal Ashby

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Crystal Ashby is a champion in improving the number of Black professionals in high level leadership positions. Crystal was featured on the World Economic Forum’s panel discussing corporate inclusion strategies. She detailed organizational strategies that are carrying out the greatest influence to provide professional opportunities to Black talent. Crystal discussed current blockages in the professional setting for Black talent, ways to improve racial disparities, the value of sponsors, and more.

“Companies must invest in developing Black talent; if they don’t invest, they will not retain the talent. We must continue to have this dialogue earnestly to help corporations understand what their Black employees are experiencing, so that their talent is fully realized.

“We find that our talent is actively recruited; companies invest a lot of money in going out and finding new talent. Companies they bring them in, the talent gets settled in, they may get a mentor and that mentor is going to help them figure out how to navigate in the organization. But there is a point where the investment in talent stops and you see a different trajectory for white male counterparts who receive opportunities. Opportunities that make them viable candidates and well prepared to step into C-suite opportunities. What needs to happen is clear intentionality about the development of the full talent pipeline, especially your Black talent pipeline. We all know that to get a C-Suite opportunity, to get a board opportunity, to be a viable CEO candidate, you have to have served some responsibility. The Black candidates are not getting those opportunities to do so, so it is incumbent upon companies to be intentional in how they look at and create opportunities for their talent to advance them.”

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