How Six Sigma Racial Equity Institute Empowers Black Women and Improves Pay for Participants

The Six Sigma Racial Equity Institute was founded by Joy E. Mason in spring 2021 as an offshoot of her Optimist Business Solutions company in response to the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department. Since then, the institute has grown into a space for Black women and Black Latinas to increase their skills and impact their communities through improvement projects.

She told the Indianapolis Recorder that an catalyst for her initiative was the desire to help both women and the Black community.

Of the previous participants surveyed, 67% stated that they received a pay raise since completing the Green Belt program, and 33% noted that they had received a promotion. After completing the program, 33% of participants noted they received a salary increase of more than $10,000, while an additional 44% received a salary increase of $1,000-$9,999 since completing the Green Belt program.

In a post-program survey of SSREI’s most recent Green Belt cohort, 100% of participants responded they gained new or increased problem-solving skills. 92% of the cohort participants said the program met or exceeded their expectations regarding improved leadership confidence. These findings are important to SSREI’s work and equity in central Indiana. Ensuring pay equity for Black women is a critical imperative in the pursuit of justice and equality. Closing the wage gap is not only a matter of fairness but a key step towards dismantling systemic discrimination.

She noted that the program has so far been a tremendous success, and is an example of what can happen when a serious investment into the careers of Black women is prioritized. 

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