Diversity Briefing

January 2021

Federation of Holistic Therapists

Following on from an Equality and Diversity survey last year, the Federation of Holistic Therapists decided action was needed to improve inclusivity across their industry. They pledged to offer their members unconscious bias training to help identify the biases that exist within all of us, understand how unconscious bias might play out in practice and set out a clear plan on how to develop more inclusive behaviours. We are delighted to hear that feedback from our initial two sessions, delivered online by Vix Anderton, has been overwhelmingly positive. Due to the popularity of the webinars, an additional session has been scheduled.
January 2021

Unconscious bias training scrapped by ministers

The debate about the value of unconscious bias training has been reignited with the news that it would be scrapped across government departments because ‘it does not work.’ This is not a new criticism: it is a real challenge to change individual behaviours and notoriously hard to measure that change. The article goes on to state that, “training had too often been used by employers as a “catch-all”, which failed to really tackle the specific barriers for different groups.”

Unconscious bias training is not a silver bullet and certainly needs to be part of a programme of work, which takes a root and branch approach to understanding the inequalities of any given workplace.  A series of insights must be gained before any of our tailored courses are rolled out, taking into account things such as recruitment and progression data, the lived experience of staff, and the leadership team’s analysis of how advantage and disadvantage play out at work.

Unconscious bias training is fascinating. It’s about our human impulses and our socialisation. It’s about the ways in which our unconscious minds sometimes work against our conscious values. Done well, unconscious bias training leads to positive and constructive conversations about the barriers that exist for different people at work. And most importantly, how we can remove them. And it’s these structural and systemic changes – in addition to adaptations in behaviours – that will mean organisations make great strides in eliminating discrimination and disadvantage.
December 2020

Working with Mercedes FI Team

EW Group is incredibly proud to be working with the Mercedes F1 Team on Accelerate 25, a five-year programme that marks the formalisation of their vision to become a more diverse and inclusive team. As the Team’s external specialist, we have completed an in-depth analysis of Mercedes F1’s recruitment and development processes. Our custom-designed programme has trained all managers in Inclusive Excellence and we will be rolling this out to all staff by June 2021.
December 2020

Diversity and Mercedes

Racism and Allyship

Set against the backdrop of 2020’s major world events (Covid and Black Lives Matter), many of us have looked within ourselves to find a way in which we can make a difference. Companies have needed to address systemic issues that have been exposed such as the disproportionate impact of Covid on Black and Asian staff, and women with caring responsibilities and the best have taken swift and sensitive action. Individuals have also wanted to take action such as contributing more to local communities. With a powerful focus on anti-racism and structural inequalities, there are also two major concepts that have emerged which we can take individual responsibility for also: privilege and allyship.

These two concepts go hand-in-hand. You can’t be a meaningful ally without first understanding your own privilege and we think John Amaechi’s analysis is spot on. We don’t have to feel guilty for having privilege, we just need to use it to good effect in tackling discrimination that others are facing. An ally is just that: someone proactively using their privileged position to help level the playing field for others. For helpful definitions of allyship, the NHS has some great resources and these 10 steps from Dr Muna Abdi are great to keep in mind.

As Dr Muna Abdi says, in order to ‘show up and stand up’ as an ally, you do need to be informed. This recent podcast interview by Louis Theroux with actress and screenwriter Michaela Coel has a wealth of insight into being a Black Britain today.

Bear in mind that being an ally is about more than understanding and empathy. It’s about taking action and often that will mean raising uncomfortable truths. If you’re a member of a dominant group in your workplace (once you’ve checked your privilege you’ll know if that’s you) then take pride in standing up for people in different racial groups, champion them, perhaps mentor them and certainly be proactive in challenging anyone who does not treat them equally.

And remember that as an ally, your actions don’t have to be limited to grand ones. Our blog on racial microaggressions will be a useful tool to help you think about making small changes to your own behaviour. And if you’re a leader then all of the above applies, plus it’s time to start proactively developing inclusive leadership traits. Because if not now, when?
December 2020

Get in touch for help and advice on any aspect of inclusive leadership, diversity audits and training.