May 20, 2021

After the flood -> Black Business Post-Pandemic

James Lowry has been a pioneering business advocate and consultant for forty years. But to call him a consultant would be an injustice. It’s like calling Jackie Robinson a good shortstop.

The pipeline question — Fairness is equality of opportunity, not equal outcome 

Easily the most interesting question within Black tech is the “pipeline challenge". How do we recruit Black engineers, at the beginning of their careers, to get into the top tech companies? At the executive level, it’s often too late for diversity initiatives. We’re far behind without the experience, connections, and resumes to get the highest level jobs. 

Nobody knows this problem better than the Black diversity recruiters at Google, and boy is their story grim. In an explosive Twitter thread, Abril, a former Google diversity recruiter, recounts the open racism that she and Black engineers faced in trying to get Black engineers from historically Black colleges placed within the company.

When she started, there were ZERO Black engineers from HBCU’s and when she was unceremoniously let go, she’d increased it by over 300%. 

If we’re ever going to close the Black-white executive gap, it starts with recruiters like Abril. 

After the flood -> Black Business Post-Pandemic 

James Lowry has been a pioneering business advocate and consultant for forty years. But to call him a consultant would be an injustice. It’s like calling Jackie Robinson a good shortstop. Lowry was the first Black consultant at McKinsey and the first Black senior partner at Boston Consulting Group. If there’s a beaten road in consulting, he’s already walked it. 

The Real Media did a great interview with him on the post-pandemic period and why it might be the best time to start a Black business since 1978 and the days of Jimmy Carter and Maynard Jackson (Who?). But really an amazing interview and in his own words — “ Black people created more jobs between 1978 and 1982 than any other time in the history of America. … I don’t think we have any choice but to do it again.” If you want to hear plain truths and uncoated honesties, this is the man to follow.


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