"For us, it took patience to try to understand what about our organization creates barriers and to deeply examine what might be producing these hiring patterns," he said. "Especially now, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, there's an urgency to make change now. But sincerely getting at deep culture -- that's long work."
Lewis said business leaders and recruiters have to think about racial bias whenever hiring decisions are made.
"It has to be conscious, because good people are otherwise going to be denied and locked out," he said. "There may be gaps in experience that shouldn't be held against people."
Bryant said the long job search taught her about the value of networking.
"I always thought, I can sell myself, I've shown I know how to get the job done for these organizations, and this is going to get me a job" she said. "What I wasn't doing, was connecting with the right people. I wasn't in (professional organizations) and networking. I think you do need to have a connection, someone who can make the link for you."
(c)2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.