By Adam Roseman
What has really come to light during this time of Covid-19 is how unbelievably unlevel the playing field is in today’s workforce. Joining me recently to take a look at some of the whys and what can be done to counter the inequities was our partner NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. The discussion was moderated by former ESPN anchor and Atlantic magazine sports journalist Jemele Hill as part of an opening session that took place virtually for tech conference, Collision. (Note: Hill recently produced a powerful essay worth a watch about social justice.)
Using income data from our Members, we have been assessing their impact since the onset of Covid-19 and have been able to see how Covid-19 has disproportionately affected African Americans in the US. In the 20-minute talk, Shaquille highlighted Steady’s partnership in a $2+ million fund that provides emergency cash grants to Steady Members who have lost income due to Covid-19.
O’Neal has teamed up with Steady – a platform that helps users find jobs, seek financial advice, and save money – and joined CEO Adam Roseman to speak about why the company is involved with the $2 million fund.
O’Neal explained why he got involved with Steady, remembering the financial hardship his family experienced. “I had to go back to my childhood, and you know what, my mom and dad needed something like this. Because I used to see them struggle, going through newspapers, borrowing money from people, trying to go to the bank. I thought this is the right thing to do,” said O’Neal.
What’s unbelievably shocking is that more than 70 percent of these individuals have stated that they’ve had to skip meals as a result of the income loss they’ve suffered. What’s equally as shocking, relevant to everything that’s going on around us right now, is that roughly 50 percent of these individuals are African-American,” said CEO Adam Roseman.
For Black Americans, who make up more than 13% of our population, long-standing racial inequities have made the financial impact of COVID-19 even more extreme. The Steady platform, which helps people find high demand jobs, increase their income and plan for more financially stable futures, recently opened up an emergency cash grant program as a result of the pandemic, and so far, 46.5% of our applicants have been Black.