Singer-actor Tyrese is fed up with Black men and women experiencing “firsts” that white people have benefitted from for years.
Using his Instagram Stories to air out his grievances about the lack of opportunities that have been made to nonwhite individuals in corporate America, he wrote:
“I’m done with people announcing in 2021 the first BLACK WOMEN to? The first BLACK MAN to?…If this is a [first] you need to really look at your internal ‘racist’ practices and be ashamed that it’s your companies FIRST….In your next board meeting look around in the room and if you don’t SEE multiethnic faces and genders in your room that’s a direct reflection of YOU…We are always ready you just gotta open the door [sic] and let us in….-Us”
The singer’s outspoken nature is nothing new, but what inspired his recent soapbox moment is unknown. Nonetheless, the “Fast & The Furious” actor’s comments echo those of people calling out corporate America for not finding the value in employees of color until last year. In the wake of social protests, Americans, of both celebrity and non-celebrity stature, challenged big businesses to rectify their diversity and lack of inclusion shortcomings.
The response by several companies, including those identified as Fortune 500 companies, use initiatives to show they do in fact see the error in not hiring and promoting from the diverse pool of talent. Some businesses, such as Microsoft Corp. and hedge fund AltFinance committed to bridging the recruitment gap and committed millions to give people of color greater access to high-paying careers dominated by white counterparts.
“Data from human resources consulting company Mercer, 64% of workers in entry level positions are white. In the top executive ranks, however, 85% of positions are held by whites, demonstrating the promotion gap that minorities face,” according to “CNBC’s” deep dive into the impact diversity initiatives have had on Human Resources data. “And women and minorities continue to under-earn white male colleagues.”
Initiatives and checks are not easy fixes to systemic issues, but it is a start. While celebrating the 18th anniversary of his 40/40 Club, music-business mogul Jay-Z touched on how Roc Nation, an entertainment company co-founded by the newly minted billionaire, handles diversity.
“A lot of times people say things because it’s the topic of now and they don’t want to get themselves in a PR disaster, you know our company Roc Nation is 53 percent diverse, 51 percent female. We don’t have a diversity department it’s just who we are,” he explained to ET Canada. “So, you gotta get people in the room that live and breathe it, you know that’s the only thing that’s going to change, it can’t be you know write a check $250 million over ten years or whatever the things are, it’s something though, so I don’t wanna, but you know what I’m saying, you have to get the people from the culture in those rooms.”