Written by Technically Media CEO Chris Wink, Technical.ly’s new Culture Builder newsletter features tips on growing powerful teams and dynamic workplaces. Below is the latest edition we published. Sign up here to get the next one this Friday.
For two years, 180,000 Americans were enslaved in Texas illegally.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when the U.S. federal government enforced Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. A friend once told me his choice was between his native country that had no justice and the United States, “where justice only comes when we get around to it.”
Juneteenth is no new holiday. Something happened in 2020, though. A Civil Rights era, decades of advocacy work and an inspiring Black Lives Matter movement contributed to thousands of companies making the overdue transition to formally honoring Juneteenth. Exasperated workplace leaders were looking for something, anything, to do after the murder of George Floyd and adding a new paid holiday was one of the easiest steps to take.
Tech companies at the forefront of American workplace culture were among the quickest to respond, joined by leaders in Corporate America. Even still, fewer than one in 10 professionals have today off. Twice as many professionals get Veteran’s Day off, though federal legislation and social movement have accelerated Juneteenth. (The average American professional gets 8.5 paid holidays annually.)
It helped advance the most recent new national holiday. A decade after the assassination of one of the most consequential private-citizen civic leaders in American history, Martin Luther King Jr. was honored with his own holiday in 1979. Today, just a third of professionals get that day off from work, though many others volunteer with their workplaces.
It’s easy to tease the rush to add Juneteenth as a paid company holiday as a kind of woke-washing, because it could be misunderstood as a distraction from deeper racial inequality work. The message of the holiday, though, is not that salvation had arrived. Instead, the message is that justice is delayed yet again.
And now the links.
What else we’re reading
- How companies can celebrate Juneteenth
- Employers tap contingent workers as worker demand outpaces supply — “Clients of staffing company Randstad Sourceright are ‘reaching out to contingent labor where they haven’t in the past.’”
- 3 compliance issues to revisit in light of hybrid work — “Communication, updated policies and documentation are key”
- Stories of Covid Killing the Candidate Experience
- Exclusive: LinkedIn to pay its ERG leaders — They’re paying $10,000 for DEI committee leaders
- Attracting Talent During a Worker Shortage
- Your Company Pledged to Reduce Its Carbon Footprint. Now What?
Company culture stories we’ve published lately
- Resilient Coders is bringing its free and equity-minded coding bootcamp to Pittsburgh
- How to make your company’s Juneteenth statement or policy actually matter
- This South Side startup is using data modeling to simulate workplace reopening risk
- Can employees take a second job?
- Combating ‘information overload’ one Axios app at a time
- Tech CEOs have nowhere to hide anymore