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The role of companies in the search for racial equality: learn about the history of Preto no Preto and its transformational power in the DR

Find out how the Preto no Preto collective is working both within Resultados Digitais and the ecosystem of startups and technology

“We will pave the way to increase diversity in our team.” That it was the statement when we launched the Black on Black (PnP)collective of black people and brown the Digital results, for about three years. Since then, it has been the guiding premise of this diversity group. Although in different formats, the ultimate goal of our actions and projects is always to “open the way.”

We have been on a path of important discoveries about facing racial inequality in the corporate environment. He went through and goes through, necessarily, self-determination. “I became black”, a line said in the video that you can see below, is an expression constantly used by people who, upon recognizing themselves as black, started to have a different attitude about their own identities.

Neusa Santos, in her book Becoming Black, states that “one of the ways to exercise autonomy is to have a discourse about oneself. Discourse that becomes much more significant the more grounded in concrete knowledge of reality.”

By positioning itself within the company as a group, Preto no Preto has become a place of identification and belonging for black people, in a national scenario in which racial inequalities are still latent: according to the Black Money Movement, in Brazil, an income difference between blacks and whites is 40%.

An internal identification space

Therefore, as a place of identification, the first initiatives were aimed at recognizing black people, uniting in favor of racial equality and the construction of a positive identity about oneself. We hold different discussion meetings, book reading recommendations, create a private group in one of the company’s communication channels for content sharing, among others.

From there, we turned our efforts to bring talent to DR. We participate in events such as RD on the Road, representing the diversity group to attract black professionals. 

In the words of the current leader of the group, Camilli Calixto, “the action was a possibility for us from Preto no Preto to approach other markets, in addition to the south-southeast axis, which are in strong growth along with Digital Marketing and which have professionals black people in full development for the Digital.”

We were able to connect with many professionals and, at the time, we made 2 signings!

Kayo Albuquerque, Larissa Oliveira and Camilli Calixto, members of Preto no Preto

The financial impact of diversity

Today, the Diversity & Inclusion theme has been widely discussed in the corporate world, not only from the social factor but also from the economic point of view, based on measuring the impact of diversity and inclusion initiatives for the business.

A  McKinsey survey, which analyzed the relationship between inclusive environments and financial return, states that ethnic-racially diverse companies have 35% higher financial returns than other companies. However, even if we used the “looking out the window” strategy, the bill would remain unequal, as black people’s access to higher education and technological tools is still relatively low.

In the Technology and Innovation market, for example, the numbers related to the inclusion of black workers are challenging. According to the organization American Progress, blacks represent about 5% of the total employees in Silicon Valley and black women make up 3% of the total people working in Tech according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT ).

Our struggle as a collective is that these figures will increase and that the Silicon Valley Brasileiro it does not reflect these same conditions any longer.

Within this scenario, it is important to note that there are highly trained black professionals who seek companies engaged in this issue. This was the case of Juliana Sousa, Specialist in CS Enablement at RD, for whom the existence of the Preto no Preto diversity group was essential for making a decision about changing companies.

“ I feel very blessed to be able to choose to be in a company that has a group like Preto no Preto. I know this is not the reality for companies in Brazil and it is comforting to know that there is a group in which I will feel heard and that makes me feel represented far from my hometown. And the fight is for more and more companies to be guided by the example of companies like RD so that we are more and more present so that our work is seen and so that, above all, we are where we should be: at the top .”

Actions of Black on Black

Every year, in November, we promote the PnP Racial Awareness Week,  calling the entire company to discuss racial inequality. These are rounds of conversations with reference professionals in the market, partnerships (such as the one we have with Nina Silva, CEO of the Black Money Movement).

We also hold conversation circles with our members. Vitorino Elima, an Angolan immigrant who lost his sight during the war, participated in a PnP Sessions, sharing his story with us. Today, he is finishing law school and working at RD. It’s moments of exchange like this that enrich us.

In 2019, for Racial Equality Week, we used the context of Wakanda in our visual identity, we sought to focus on the discussion about the T&I market, as well as expanding our actions beyond the walls. In addition to the privilege games held at the company, special experiences for black people, we promoted two events called Black Talks.

The first was a milestone in Florianópolis, as the participants testify to this day. We brought together about 80 black professionals from different areas to talk about our presence in the Technology sector. It was unforgettable for all of us to see the RD Lounge with so many faces similar to ours.

These were initiatives replicated in other companies and this makes us proud. The second Black Talks was a career-focused workshop with Amanda Graciano, Top Voice LinkedIn, closed only to black people.

Our plans to keep moving forward

Also in 2019, we launched RD’s Racial Equality Plan (PIR), mentioned in the video, as a public initiative by the company to establish guidelines in the pursuit of racial diversity.

Vitor Martins, PIR coordinator, said, ” and le talks about how the Digital results expected to act henceforth in relation to this issue and what changes are needed. As a result, we hope to continuously insert more and more racial issues in each area, projects and actions of our company .”

We started to participate and encourage the inclusion of black people in the most diverse topics raised in our company. This year, in women’s month, for example, we brought Suelen Marcolino, LinkedIn’s LATAM Relationship Manager, to a hangout broadcast throughout RD.

We see our actions as pieces of a big puzzle. With each black piece placed in the right place, a victory for all of us.

In Vitor’s words, “the great challenge is to bring the racial issue into a debate that makes sense for organizations and employees without losing sight of the fact that we live in a hierarchically unequal world. In this sense, understand what is the real commitment of each company to overcome racial inequalities.”

We need to see ourselves in places

This debate was also fostered internally when we brought Dr. Lia Schucman to talk about “The role of whiteness in the fight against racism”, in two lectures, one open to all employees and the other exclusively for RD leaders.

Larissa Oliveira’s speech in the video released today sums up the feeling of all of us when we bump into other black people around the company. It is a mix of a sense of duty being fulfilled and enormous challenges to be overcome. She doesn’t know yet, but Juliana Souza reports that a greeting from Larissa was a reason for the rectification of the decision to accept RD’s proposal. “Seeing each other in places is almost being a little more alive”.

For today, May 13th, we chose not to celebrate the day of abolition which, in fact, did not happen and which remains unfinished. On the contrary, numerous fights arose from that date. Each of the places we conquered is the result of an arduous struggle in a society structured on racism. We will not celebrate, on the contrary, we will continue to fight for our space and for our voice to be heard.