BUSINESS CAN WORK TO ADDRESS RACIAL INEQUALITY
Business Leaders have a mandate which is broader than profit and loss. The events in the US from last week have appalled us but I suggest we have an indisputable responsibility and now an opportunity to drive racial equality in our organisations, our cities, our communities, our supply chains and our client base. We can be leaders, we can be examples in this.
This is not just about speaking out. It has to be intrinsic in all we do. This is not about posting highly polished videos or vague supporting statements on equality and diversity – indeed if the organisation has little or no record of diversity and equality, these statements will quickly backfire and damage your brand irrevocably.
This is a time for real change – a time to review how our organisations work. A time to hold up the mirror to ourselves. If we say we are a ‘diverse’ organisation, can we demonstrate this? How do we operate in our local community? Do we recruit fairly and openly? How many BAME people apply, how many BAME people get jobs, and how many get promoted? Can you demonstrate equal pay? How are grievances from BAME people dealt with? Who makes the decisions in the organisation? Do your understand unconscious bias – who are the true beneficiaries of your organisation and do we really practice the values we put on all our PR platforms? Do we listen to our BAME employees, our communities who can shine a light on our practices if asked?
So many questions – and if we don’t ask these for ourselves and act on them, make no mistake, our millennials, our customers, our communities and our partners will ask them.
I propose that business can have a transformative effect – it can have a real impact in eradicating racism and delivering racial equality and now, more than ever, rebuild a strong economic recovery and success for all.
At BeOnBoard we work with businesses to create diverse talent pipelines for our future leaders. Diversity of thought is urgently needed for a fair and equal society, and it starts in the Boardroom.
We will continue our work with you and our corporate partners to ensure a more inclusive Boardroom and workplace where BAME talent flourishes.
GOOD LEADERSHIP – A TEST IN A TIME OF CRISIS
A message to our supporters:
As we navigate through this difficult time, I’ve been thinking about what good leadership is and how it can make a real difference. There are plenty of books and research on how to behave as a leader but a crisis is a time or event which happens suddenly or unexpectedly, and so this is a time when we are tested not just as leaders, but moreover as human beings.
Honesty, positivity and openness are never more important as people look to leaders for guidance and reassurance. This is a key time for leaders to demonstrate the core values of their organisation. If we espouse values of equality, respect, responsible business – ‘people at the heart of what we do’ – as core values, finding a way of putting this into practice is not just a good opportunity but an imperative.
Historically, corporations and businesses and individuals have been judged on how they handled a crisis – and now we applaud all the companies who are making safe choices for their employees and their customers. It is a time for priorities and in this crisis the only priority is people’s lives and health.
There have been some remarkable examples of this so far with companies setting up community funds, diverting resources to aid the effort to help the isolated, our NHS and our front-line workers. And great acts of kindness as communities have come together to support each other. This is great leadership.
I know so many of our supporters have already been helping across the city. At BeOnBoard, we are asking people to come forward if they have time to offer charities and voluntary organisations. So, can you volunteer? Do you have key professional skills you’re able to contribute? We are talking to charities and voluntary organisations right now and will be in touch with details about how you can help soon.
We are still online if you need us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will continue to work to deliver on our mission. In the meantime, please stay safe.
BeOnBoard – CEO
INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP NOW!
Photos by Ethan Porter© – www.ethanporter.co.uk
A great rally call from the keynote speaker, Dr Tunde Okewale, at our inaugural conference Inclusive Leadership Now! And throughout the day, we saw over 100 people stand up and say that they are ready to step forward to take up leadership and Board roles.
Our first conference was a huge success because YOU came forward. Buoyed by our fantastic speakers who talked about their successes and challenges as Board members, by inspiring speeches from Deputy mayor, Asher Craig and Mayor Marvin Rees, and exclusive workshops on key topics – networking, Board insights and financial governance – our delegates have given us a clear message: we want to be the next generation of leaders of Bristol. We felt a true shift, a real moment for diversity and inclusion in our city.
In 2018, BeOnBoard set out improve the diversity of UK boards to better reflect the communities they serve, to build an inclusive economy which benefits all, where talented BAME and women senior professionals feel that their skills or experience would be valued in boardrooms. And now, through training and our inaugural conference, we are in a position where we can offer a strong, diverse talent pool to businesses for their board roles.
In the New Year we are taking the lead from you, our future leaders. We’ve listened to your needs and will be offering more training to help show you that Board roles are accessible and not just for ‘other people’, with more opportunities to meet role models and more chances to get connected at our networking events.
Together, we will deliver our vision. Thank you once again for stepping forward.
BeOnBoard – CEO