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Racism and Reviews: Will Yelp’s Stand against Racism Affect Your Business?

If you know your business’ core values, you have nothing to fear. 

The online review company Yelp, released a statement saying that they would mark businesses that were reported to be racists. This would be based not only on news reports but also on customer or employee reviews of the said establishments

But what does this have to do with your business? 

While this is a good tool against racists’ aggressions, some fear that Yelp’s mechanism may be misused. According to the Washington Post, some people on social media believe that with Yelp’s Racist Alert, some businesses may face false accusations and may be “cancelled” without having the chance to explain or to confirm if the racist incident was truly connected with their business. 

Diversity as a counterattack

Reviews on our businesses affect us, but negative reviews can be turned into positive ones. We can improve our services if our customers are not satisfied. But what do we do if we have reviews that would accuse us of racism even if we’re not racists?

“Actions speak louder than words.” Racism is a problem that cannot be handled by reviews alone. And by that, in order to address it, we might want to look back at our own inner institutions. 

So here are a few ways on how you can promote and integrate diversity into your company:

  1. Provide diversity training
    We must set a time to talk about our differences, may it be about race, gender, or religion. In this way, we can remove the subconscious biases that we might have and accept that our differences is what empowers us.
  2. Initiate a mentorship system
    This will not only open our teams to various perspectives but this will also encourage career and personal growth.
  3. Implement policies that are diversity-friendly
    “Are we providing appropriate maternal leaves for our soon-to be moms in the office?” “Are we giving the same option to the soon-to-be fathers?” “Do we let our employees observe religious holidays?” things like these may help protect and promote diversity in our workplace.
  4. Create diverse teams
    Diversity builds perspectives in our team’s decision making process. Ensure that our teams are comprised of people who come from different personal and cultural backgrounds. Their drive for personal growth and for our business to succeed is enough to unite their differences.

It’s not just about having people of color, having women at executive positions, or having members of the LGBTQIA++ in the team, but it’s about letting them feel that they belong. And for our customers, belongingness is a big factor. They do business with us because they identify themselves with us. When we don’t make our employees feel that they belong then that would resonate to the service they provide to our customers.

Being fully inclusive and diverse is a learning process. Mistakes are bound to happen; customers may not exactly see what you’re doing behind the scenes, but what’s important is that we are trying. And always remember, your business isn’t just an establishment, it is YOU. And knowing who you are and what your business is, and what it will be, matters most than any bad review.