Written by Jana Eller
In this Ted Talk, finance executive Mellody Hobson explores the difference between colorblindness and color bravery and how such bravery can improve businesses, companies, and lives. Using statistics and data revealing the environment of many board rooms across America, she explains how colorblindness ignores a problem, rather than addresses it. For example, despite white men taking up 30 percent of the population, they hold 70 percent of board seats across thousands of companies.
“Imagine if you walked into a room and it was of a major corporation… and every single person around the boardroom were black, you would think that were weird. But if I walked you into a Fortune 500 company and everyone around the table is a white male, when will we think that that’s weird too?”
[pullquote speaker=”” photo=”” align=”right” background=”off” border=”left” shadow=”off”]”This subject matter can be hard, awkward, uncomfortable. But that’s kind of the point… If we can learn to deal with our discomfort, and just relax into it, we’ll have a better life.”[/pullquote]
Hobson calls her viewers to learn to identify and deal with areas and topics of conversation – such as race – that make them uncomfortable and pursue real conversations that result in real, positive change. These actions can benefit and improve the success of individuals and of businesses if they are addressed with honesty, understanding, and courage. Hobson points to ESPN as an example, who has handled diversity “head-on,” specifically in hiring practices, by opting for a diverse pool of candidates and seeking to hire the most qualified.
Those who actively promote diversity help open doors for more children to dream and build a space for them to achieve their dreams.