• Actively working to be more antiracist in the employee assistance field

      Frey, Jodi J
      In addition to the ongoing response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease–2019 (COVID-19), workplaces are addressing and beginning in many cases to dismantle long-standing systems and structures that uphold racism. These changes are happening quickly and around the globe. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) have an opportunity to support and guide workplaces leaders as they seek out guidance and new solutions to the two pandemics of COVID-19 and racism. To start this work; however, EAPs need to work internally to examine, challenge and change their own practices and behaviors in an effort to be a more diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist work and professional environment. This article describes 10 steps EAPs can take to start or continue on their journey to be more anti-racist within their own workplaces and with the workplaces they support.
    • Addressing Race in the Workplace: Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

      DiMillo, Victoria; Brown, Alexis; Harrington, Brad (Boston College Center for Work and Family, 2021-05)
      Global companies realize the strength that comes from recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive workplace. Diversity encompasses many visible and invisible aspects of identity, but in 2021, it is clear that race continues to be an issue of particular concern. While many White Americans believe the United States to be a post-racial society, citing such events as the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s or the election of the first African-American president in 2008, tensions and inequalities persist. The events of 2020 made clear what people of color have always known; society has not come as far as many Americans believe. Recent events have highlighted the ways that centuries of systemic racism continue to shape our society, from our schools to our neighborhoods to our workplaces. At the end of 2018, less than half of the companies in the S&P 500 had a Chief Diversity Officer or similar position, according to a study by Russell Reynolds. With the economy in flux and the future unknown, many companies are struggling to stay afloat and may not have the financial or management resources necessary to dedicate to diversity programs. And yet, most recognize that diversity and inclusion efforts must remain a business imperative. This paper focuses on the state of diversity in the workplace, the organizational impediments to implementing inclusive policies, and suggestions for building and maintaining diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces.
    • Born on Third Base

      Wrich, James T. (1998-11-10)
      In believing that there is an equal playing field for all races and genders in this country, it fails to recognize the importance of the one indispensable asset which more than any other paved the way for my friend and me -- White Male Privilege. Along with most of my White brothers, I was born on third base in the ball game of opportunity while sixty percent of the population has to fight like hell to even get into the ball park. Whether times were good or bad, my gender and skin pigment made everything easier for me than for my sisters of all descriptions and my brothers of color. And being tall didn’t hurt, either. Without these characteristics, little that I have achieved would have been possible. Especially in the workplace.
    • Connecticut EAPA Chapter President’s Messages

      Boissonneault, Daniel (2020-06-05)
      These are letters written by EAPA-CT (Connecticut) Chapter President, Dan Boissonneault, in response to recent issues in the U.S.: racial injustice; elections, diversity and inclusion, and the role of EAP in approaching these issues..
    • A Conversation About Race

      Perman, Jay A. (2015-05-06)
    • Creating space for difficult conversations

      Perspectives, 2020
      Conversations around diversity and inclusion have been happening in and around workplaces for years. Starting conversations on racism, discrimination, and how your coworkers feel about how they are being treated can be challenging and uncomfortable-- but they are necessary. If your employees do not feel safe, they will most likely not share their true experiences and feelings. Whether you are a leader or a colleague, consider how your actions could lead someone to believe you are insensitive to their struggles. An employee or coworker not expressing their feelings and fears does not mean they do not exist.
    • Diversity - How to understand yourself and others

      Sandoval, Dianna; Murphy, Leticia (2021-01-12)
      This is a presentation on diversity - defined as: understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. This presentation addresses the following issues: definition of diversity: difference between race & ethnicity; definition of a minority group; how to build cultural competency; increase awareness of bias & stereotypes and how to build an inclusive work environment.
    • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: How you can get your organization headed in the right direction

      Thompson, Sunette; Eisler, Jonathan; Haywood, Stephanie; Calderon, Kellie (Perspectives, Ltd., 2020-09-03)
      This webinar was offered by Perspectives, Ltd. and focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and how to get your organization headed in the right direction. From webinar: "It is 2020, but 85% of executive positions in the U.S. are still held by whites. Only 3% are Hispanic and 2% are Black. What's more, women and minorities continue to under-earn white male colleagues. For those leading change at their organization, our panel of account managers shared 12 steps to creating a successful DEI initiative, as well as best practices and examples of some companies that are getting it right. We covered: • Where do things stand in the U.S. today? • Why launch a DEI initiative? • What steps should you take? • What are some best practices? • Who is getting this right? • Questions and answers In response, some of the questions we received were: "How do you get more employee participation in voluntary D&I training?" "Can you talk about some best practices when it comes to inclusive interviewing?" "Given these highly divided times in our country whether politically or otherwise, Are people really willing to address these issues without the fear of reprisal, layoffs, etc.?" To explore virtual sessions like these for your organization, contact jeisler@perspectivesltd.com.
    • EAP and COVID-19: How U.S. Companies Can Support Employees of Color Through the Pandemic

      Roberts, Laura Morgan; McCluny, Courtney L.; Thomas, Erin L.; Kim, Michelle, B.S. (Harvard Business Publishing, 2020-05-22)
      Executive Summary (from article): While there’s plenty of rhetoric about how we’re all in the Covid-19 pandemic together, the fallout clearly shows that we are not in the same boat. The direct impact on Black and brown communities in the U.S. is staggering, both from a physical and mental health perspective. Employers can help support their employees of color and their communities in three key ways: on the individual level, by asking specific questions about how to provide support and making room for people to care for themselves; on the organizational level, by setting up communication, hiring, and benefits systems that support employees of color; and on the societal level, by focusing corporate giving and political action toward communities of color.
    • EAP and COVID-19: Social Work in the Workplace: Turning the Tables on Critical Conversations - University of Maryland, School of Social Work 2020 Homecoming

      Frey, Jodi J; Armstrong, Victor; Whitter, Maria; Dyme, Bernard S. (2020-06-22)
      On June 22, 2020, the University of Maryland, School of Social Work celebrated 40 years of Employee Assistance Education and Research with Homecoming 2020 (Virtual). The title of Homecoming was Social Work in the Workplace: Turning the Tables on Critical Conversations. Dr. Jodi Frey, Professor and Chair of the Social Work in the Workplace & Employee Assistance Sub-specialization moderated the event (see her video in this record) and three leading social work experts in the workplace presented on critical topics including workplace culture and wellbeing (Victor Armstrong, MSW), gender reveal - identity and expression in the workplace (Maria Whitter, MSW), and leadership during times of crisis (Bernie Dyme, MSW). All talks are available here in addition to a PowerPoint highlighting School of Social Work EAP alumni with photos and brief descriptions of how their education prepared them for the work they are doing today.
    • Fighting racism in the workplace: What you can do

      Haywood, Stephanie; Thompson, Sunette; Calderon, Kellie (2020-07-09)
      Perspectives, LTD hosted a panel webinar with three of their account managers--Stephanie Haywood, Sunette Thompson and Kellie Calderon. Together, they shared their professional experience of helping dozens of customers each on a daily basis. They also candidly offered personal experiences and fielded insightful audience questions from organization leaders, human resources executives and managers, who were all looking for solutions for their teams. The agenda covered: • Define Racism in the Workplace • How to Be an Ally • Understanding Diversity Versus Inclusion • Anti-Racism Resources • Q&A
    • How Employee Assistance Programs Can Help Your Whole Company Address Racism at Work

      Frey, Jodi J (Harvard Business Review Press, 2020-10-14)
      It may surprise some employers to know that when employees experience racism and/or other forms of discrimination and oppression, one of the places they can turn for help is their Employee Assistance Program or EAP. While EAPs are thought of more often for use by employees for short-term counseling and referrals to help employees manage personal problems so that they don’t interfere with work performance and productivity, it is important to remember that EAPs also provide workplaces with services including organizational assessment, management consultation and strategic crisis prevention and response. It is precisely because of this mix of individual and organizational level of services that EAPs are in a unique position to help employees work through the trauma of racism and to provide workplace leaders with an invaluable insider view of complex workplace problems, including racism.
    • My Sister's Slipper

      Wrich, James T. (1996-01)
      "As we head towards a new millennium, valuing and embracing cultural and ethnic diversity while fighting prejudice is the most important issue the EAP field can undertake. In my opinion, it ranks with our early struggles to get alcoholism recognized as a disease and to adopt the EAP Broad Brush approach for helping people. It engenders hope. We can change the American workplace if we are first willing to look at ourselves and change."
    • Supporting Employees Through Trauma: Social Workers in the Workplace & Employee Assistance

      Frey, Jodi J; Bryant-Nickens, Tanya (2020-11-18)
      This webinar was presented by Dr. Jodi Jacobson Frey and Tanya Bryant-Nickens for the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work. Both presenters are proud alums of the School and Dr. Frey currently chairs the Social Work in the Workplace and Employee Assistance Sub-specialization at the School. Their presentation uses a fireside chat approach to discussing timely and critical topics related to supporting employees through trauma and the role of Employee Assistance, workplace leaders, and other workplace mental health and well-being stakeholders. The presenters address upstream, midstream and downstream approaches to preventing and responding to trauma and provide resources for attendees to learn more. Additional information is presented about the unique sub-specialization offered by the School and how alumni and friends of the program can get involved through supporting students and programming that advance the field and profession.
    • U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism

      Roberts, Laura Morgan; Washington, Ella F. (Harvard Business Review, 2020-06-01)
      More than one pandemic is affecting the lives of people in the United States. While COVID-19 is one issue, racism is another. This article provides guidance on missteps to avoid when addressing inclusion in the workplace, as well as a framework of ways for companies to take meaningful action to show greater compassion for and better support marginalized workers.
    • Understanding Financial Behavioral Health and Race (Racism), and their Association with Investment Risk Willingness

      Anvari-Clark, Jeffrey; Frey, Jodi J; 0000-0003-3234-8549 (2022)
      The conception of financial behavioral health (FBH) is new and lacks a common definition. This dissertation frames FBH as being comprised of financial precarity, financial self-efficacy (FSE), and financial well-being, and has the potential to influence multiple other behavioral health domains. The literature review shows how each component of FBH relates to other domains of behavioral health, including mental health, physical health, coping health, and social health. Stress and life course theory and insights on scarcity from the behavioral sciences are used to understand how FBH impacts the human condition, which, in a negative context, can manifest as money disorders. To explore FBH empirically, data from the 2018 National Financial Capability Study (N = 27,091; FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 2018) was used. First, a measure of financial precarity was constructed with both objective and subjective components, using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, and achieved adequate fit. Next, the relationship between FBH and its component parts was assessed, again with adequate fit. The study attempted to determine how a subset of Black and White survey respondents experienced FBH differently, according to collectivist or individualist financial values orientations. However, it was found through measurement invariance testing that although the FBH model had an excellent fit for White respondent data, it poorly fit the data from Black respondents. Due to the model variance, determining further impact of racial group affiliation on the outcome could not be conducted. The study concluded with a structural equation modeling analysis and determined that, controlling for key demographic variables, FBH accounted for 37% of the variance in investment risk willingness (R2 = .368; β = 0.256, p < .001). The project contributes a new measure of financial precarity and a basis for FBH. The variance between the sub-groups may indicate that the survey questions are inadequately capturing the collectivist experience by which many people treat their finances. The project shows how finances can have a psycho-behavioral impact on well-being and decisions, the influence FBH has on investment risk willingness, and suggests that low FBH may perpetuate wealth gaps.
    • What can I do to help?

      Perspectives, 2020
      As you are navigating your own response to the global and domestic unrest, remember that it’s hard for anyone to have the “right” answers or know what to say. Most of us feel out of control of our lives, fearful for our own safety and the safety of the people we care about and scared of impending changes to the world. For some, this anxiety over the future can be emotionally draining while for others it can spark frustration or rage. Instead of feeling helpless, here are some of our suggestions for how to be an active part of what’s going on, while maintaining your safety.
    • Widening the Lens: Exploring the Role of Social Justice in Suicide Prevention - A Racial Equity Toolkit

      Suyemoto, Pata; Kelliher, Jennifer; Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention Alliance for Equity (Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, 2019)
      This Toolkit, written by social justice and racial equality experts, along with the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention Alliance for Equity provides a foundation for assessing organizations and working to change organizational culture to move forward toward being a more racially equitable organization. The resources presented throughout the Toolkit are designed to provide knowledge and answers that will work best for your organization, and for yourself personally. The authors include engaging exercises to explore and challenge existing bias and belief systems, in addition to encouraging policy change for organizations. While the focus is on suicide prevention, the work included in this Toolkit can be adapted for other areas of concern for work organizations and for EAPs.