Michael Lee, Jr.
ATLANTA – February 17, 2023 – Today, the Metro Atlanta Chamber announced results of its annual racial equity assessment. Designed as a multi-year, multi-step initiative, ATL Action for Racial Equity aims to better understand the collective impact of the metro Atlanta business community’s efforts to address systemic racism and advance equity in the region. The annual assessment identifies strengths, opportunities and recommendations for the Atlanta business community to implement that address racial inequities in the region across four key focus areas. In 2021, more than 250 businesses committed to taking action, tracking measurable results and sharing lessons learned in pursuit of progress on their racial equity journey.
The 2022 assessment survey was shared with the 250 committed and received 48% participation. The 2023 Assessment Report, which includes 73% of responding companies with global or corporate offices headquarters in metro Atlanta, reveals that most organizations (54%) consider themselves leading or progressing in their racial equity journey.
“Our goal for ATL Action for Racial Equity is to ensure we are making a movement, not just a moment. The growing proportion of companies that see themselves as leading or progressing in their racial equity journey is promising,” said Katie Kirkpatrick, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “As we hold each other accountable to the actions outlined in the playbooks, the metro Atlanta region will continue to push for progress towards greater racial equity.”
A majority of survey responses indicate that metro Atlanta companies employ a variety of racial equity actions and initiatives across the four key focus areas including a focus on recruiting and hiring diverse talent, providing DEI trainings for their staff and leaders, implementing supplier diversity programs and partnering with other organizations and institutions, including HBCUs, to promise equity, among many other specific actions.
Identified as a foundational step when launching ATL Action for Racial Equity, the Metro Atlanta
Chamber defined corporate policies, inclusive economic development, education and workforce
development as key focus areas.
Since the inaugural assessment was conducted in 2021, survey responses indicate a significant increase across the four key focus areas including the number of participating metro Atlanta companies having a designated DEI leader (71%), 81% having a DEI strategy with buy-in from senior leaders and 71% paying a livable wage for their location in metro Atlanta. Additional key takeaways from the assessment include:
• Corporate Policies: 92% track employee demographics, specifically representation of the Black workforce
• Inclusive Economic Development: 64% of organizations with 1,000 or more employees have established a formal supplier diversity program
• Education: 62% of organizations engaged or encourage employees to volunteer in mentorship opportunities that focus on Black youth.
• Workforce Development: 85% offer benefits to full-time employees such as – paid sick leave, healthcare, paid parental leave, tuition reimbursement and retirement benefits.
“I am proud of the progress that ATL Action for Racial Equity has evoked within metro Atlanta’s business community,” said Michael Baptiste, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “Our business community’s commitment to ATL Action for Racial Equity will make metro Atlanta a more vibrant, equitable and inclusive region.”
The assessment survey included representation from 40% of companies with 1,000 or more employees, 42% for-profit privately held and 80% of companies’ national or regional offices headquartered in metro Atlanta. The 2023 Assessment Report survey was administered by Creative Resource Solutions, LLC., a Black, woman-owned award-winning research and evaluation partner.
To view the full 2023 Assessment, visit https://www.atlracialequity.com/reporting
To access the four playbooks, visit https://www.atlracialequity.com/#playbook
About the Metro Atlanta Chamber The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta’s quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused don growing the region’s innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta’s innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and telling Atlanta’s story. For more information, visit www.metroatlantachamber.com