26 October 2020
More major UK business leaders have signed an open letter which demands action now for #blacklivesmatter with agreed actions for clear and positive change. The total number of signatures now stands at over 60.
The new additions to the signatories include leaders from Balfour Beatty, Fidelity, Virgin Money, Compass Group, Aviva, Santander, Reward Gateway and National Grid.
The letter is instigated by diversity and inclusion in business campaigners Audeliss and INvolve, led by Suki Sandhu, OBE. In signing the letter, business leaders commit to reporting on the sustainable and long-term actions they are taking to address Black inclusion in the workplace. These actions, which will be documented in an annual report from signatories, include;
Diversifying the face of our organisations:
Setting targets for diverse candidate slates for every position and holding recruiters accountable for presenting diverse shortlists. More specifically, setting targets on Black talent in our candidate slates.
Investigating the specific challenges and barriers faced by Black talent in our organisations, starting to track ethnicity data and conduct focus groups or listening sessions to properly understand the experiences of our Black and minority colleagues.
Joining us on our journey of learning:
Educating ourselves on the experiences of Black people in the workplace and in society at large.
Starting the conversation:
Being vulnerable with our people. Admitting we haven’t done enough and that the work is just beginning.
Elevating Black voices:
People know discrimination and racism are a lived, everyday reality now – but do they know what forms it takes every day in the workplace? We must start these conversations. We will also do more to celebrate Black leaders and talent in our organisations and the wider business community.
Committing to specific actions:
We’ve posted on our corporate Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, but now we must show what our organisations look like truthfully and what more we are doing to change it.
The full letter of commitment and full list of signatories can be read here. All of these signatories are calling on other business leaders to commit to reporting on the actions they have taken to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement.
If your business is interested in joining us in committing to clear actions, then please contact INvolve
Suki Sandhu OBE, Founder & CEO of Audeliss and INvolve, said:
"We must do more when it comes to driving Black inclusion in business. Organisations must step up
and hold themselves accountable when it comes to turning well-intentioned aspirations into clear, concrete actions for change. It’s fantastic to see more and more signatories going beyond solidarity with #blacklivesmatter and committing to creating a workplace where Black and other
ethnic minority individuals have an equal opportunity to thrive."
Simon Bittlestone, CEO of Metapraxis said:
“We stand in solidarity with Black and minority communities and recognize the lack of equality, representation, discussion and education that persists in today’s society. Being a signatory on the letter demonstrates our commitment as a global business to take immediate action by implementing our own plan to strive for real and ever-lasting change. As the letter states, we need to be better allies - it might not be easy, and we might not always get it right, but if we don’t start working on it, it will never change.”
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