What can we do, with limited resources, limited budget, massive business challenges and right here in Norfolk?
What is utterly clear to me that doing nothing isn’t an option. ‘It’s just Norfolk’, updating our Equality & Diversity Policy and gnashing my teeth really isn’t going to cut it. I’m pretty certain that there’s no evidence base that these things have made much difference to date.
Another turning point during the Black Lives Matter movement for me was our recruitment for Non-Executive Directors. I thought we’d made an effort by pro-actively trying to reach a more diverse audience. Not one non-white applicant. It matters because it matters. The fact that we work to prevent homelessness – and arena where minority groups are over-represented is only one reason this matters. Our place as an employer and as role-models matters too. Oh, and the deep systemic and structural injustice many right here in Norfolk continue to experience.
Thanks to a chance meeting our next steps include:
- Unconscious Bias training for the team. This is about equipping us all with the language and confidence to have the hard conversations.
- Equipping us all with the skills and confidence to appropriately challenge others who come on our training.
- Using my role to reach diverse groups of people. Recruitment is not a one-off event. Putting together a schedule that includes messaging, speaking at events, pro-actively contacting a diverse range of under-represented groups to raise awareness of us as a welcoming business.
- Adding this work in to our strategic plan.
- Inviting a diverse range of people to work for us, volunteer with us and share their experiences.
- Working with our own #youthvoice group to influence other businesses by sharing our learning.
- Challenging others appropriately and holding each other to account.
- Recording incidents of racism, hate, micro-aggressions and prejudice to understand better the issues we face as individuals and a business.