Racism continues to exist because people do not speak up when they see it or when they hear it. We have reached a tipping point and there can be no return.
Below are practical ways and resources for all to make a positive and sustainable difference.
To be a part of the solution to the everyday racism faced by black people, you need to take three steps: Learn about it; Know yourself; and Take Action.
Learn about it
• Engage with your workforce and start listening. Learn how privilege plays out in the workplace.
• Tick-box diversity training can only go so far to make change. Spend more time learning about issues such as inequality, power and privilege to make transformational changes.
• Challenge the 'colourblind' ideology - it is impossible to eliminate structural hurdles without acknowledging they exist. Bringing in experts if needed.
#TalkAboutBlack can help.
Understand the "kinks" to remove the structural biases in your organisation:
Pipeline Many UK-born black people find themselves in a socioeconomic situation that can limit their life chances. UK black-Caribbean and black-African people experience higher unemployment, are more likely to be victims of crime and underperform in education compared to other ethnic groups.
Entry Should these individuals achieve a good education, they are less likely to be successful in securing their preferred roles.
Career progression When these individuals break into the industry they typically end up in support functions, have higher rates of attrition and rarely progress to leadership or revenue generating positions. At the time of writing, we can identify 13 black portfolio managers, three heads of distribution and only two black professionals in C-suite positions in the UK.
Breaking the taboo People remain uncomfortable discussing race. Start the conversation.
Pipeline Provide resource and help fund the Catalyst After School Program (CASP) aimed at secondary school children, which will equip them with the knowledge, tools, connections and more importantly aspiration to enter the investment industry.
Entry Provide resource and help fund our annual student event to identify and attract promising minority talent to the industry.
Progression Provide resource for mentoring circles
• Aimed at ethnic minority professionals with 1-10 years' experience.
• Support and help fund the annual conference designed to give the tools to navigate the workplace
• Gather data to monitor progress and drive accountability: establish the number, engagement and pay of your ethnic minority employees against the rest of your staff population
• Implement the five-point CEO plan, which will equip business leaders with a blueprint to increasing ethnic minority talent in their organisations.
• Support and help design the C-suite programme designed to increase ethnic minority presence in the boardroom.
Breaking the taboo Utilise thought leadership, roundtable debates, panel discussions, online videos, mainstream/trade media and social media to break the taboo subject that is race in our industry and society. Join in the conversation.
• Create an ethnicity taskforce to make recommendations to your Exec. You need an Exec that takes ownership and action. Reverse mentoring could also be a useful way for senior leaders to really understand what the experience of their black colleagues are.
• Join the #IAM campaign - tell us "What you are" i.e. a mother, an advocate for change, hopeful that this time will be different. Include three things, and tag in five people plus #TalkAboutBlack #IAM
• Create a culture where race is discussed and identity is valued. Accountability is key to creating cultures of belonging.
• Strategically decide how you can support the fight against racial injustice. Lobby and/or support local charities/NGOs that contribute directly to improving racial equality in wider society.