Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian: Taking a Stand on Racial Equity

In this podcast, CEO of Delta Airlines, Ed Bastian, joins the “Race at Work” podcast to discuss how senior leaders can champion racial equity in corporate America. Mr. Bastian addresses this topic from the perspective of a white man recognizing his own privilege, sharing how he began looking at the problem of racial inequity, and what Delta is doing to add intentionality to their hiring practices at all levels within the company.

Listen in here.

Journal Prompts

  • In the very beginning of the podcast, Mr. Bastian says that if he wasn’t a white male, he probably wouldn’t be in the position of CEO today. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
  • Mr. Bastian believes that there are places Delta has fallen behind in their hiring of Black employees, having only two Black directors when historically they have had four. Mr. Bastian uses data about his employees to analyze where Delta can target their hiring practices. Does your company collect demographic information about your employees? If so, how is this information used for hiring and retention?
  • Did hearing Mr. Bastian specify that they are going to hire a Black director spark any emotions for you? What about when he says you don’t have to apologize for intentional hiring practices?
  • Mr. Bastian shares that one of his pilots was closely related to someone who was killed by a public event of police brutality. How can company leadership in your organization be ready to respond when community trauma impacts your coworkers?
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