Days had passed since George Floyd’s murder, and Lee Jourdan, then Chevron’s chief diversity and inclusion officer and one of the highest-ranking Black executives at the oil giant, was struggling for the right words. “I’m scared,” he wrote at last in a company blog post. What he needed from his Chevron colleagues was “a collective recognition that racism exists” — including at work, “hidden behind titles and badges and smiles.”
Over the next year, Jourdan said he saw White senior executives striving like never before to understand what it’s like to be Black at Chevron. But he was disappointed with the results of Chevron’s efforts to increase Black representation at the company.
Illustration by Luisa Jung for The Washington Post