Jodi Jacobson Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, is the author of an article in the Harvard Business Review that explores how Employee Assistance Programs can help companies address racism at work.
Article Snippet: 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.
As a professor and chair of the only Masters in Social Work (MSW) program with a focus on preparing graduates for careers in the field of Employee Assistance, I have received numerous calls over the past several months from employers asking for advise and consultation regarding how they can work to challenge — and dismantle — their own systems that uphold racist views and policies.
Frey is a professor at the School of Social Work. Dr. Frey chairs the Social Work in the Workplace and Employee Assistance sub-specialization and the Financial Social Work Initiative. The SSW's Kyla Liggett-Creel, PhD, LCSW-C, contributed to the article as well.