What We Are Saying
Published June 2, 2020
Recent lethal police acts against unarmed Black citizens have caused much stress and anger for many of us. Racism in work and organizations is a concern for I-O psychology. To directly address this problem, SIOP’s Executive Board unanimously approved the following statement:
The senseless killings of Black citizens have sadly shown that racism continues to plague our society. George Floyd died after a police officer had his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor were unarmed when they were shot to death. As this country struggles to deal with these tragic events, it is important to state that SIOP stands against racism and all forms of hate crimes. This statement is relevant for SIOP because police brutality is based on officer behaviors while they are on duty, allegedly performing their jobs. Also, as our science has shown, racism is a major impediment for a healthy and diverse workforce.
SIOP supports the efforts of our members to research racism in organizations, to promote fair employment practices, and to create safe environments for all people. It is important to have a shared understanding of how racism affects people at work, and what we can do about it. Furthermore, it is important to communicate that SIOP is committed to strengthen our field as a community that welcomes and respects members of all races. Moving forward, I-O psychology has the potential to champion further contributions to our understanding and treatment of racism at work. Let us not merely witness the problem, but tackle it head on. We are psychologists. We care about people.
As a woman of color, I have experienced racism personally. To our Black members; I stand with you – SIOP stands with you. To all our members, I hope this statement serves as an initial step to formally express the Society’s position on racism at work.
A statement is important, but we also need to go beyond words. SIOP is exploring several possible actions to further address racism at work. If you have any ideas and/or resources, I would like to hear about them (please send to Tracy Vanneman at firstname.lastname@example.org).
SIOP President Georgia T. Chao & the SIOP Executive Board
Update: The SIOP Executive Board has also published this Statement of Support for Programs to Improve Diversity and Inclusion to address the Executive Order curtailing workforce training and activities focused on certain D&I topics, approaches, and perspectives.