Diversity Briefing

April 2021

Anti-racism at The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA)

Earlier this year, we were delighted to announce our partnership with The Professional Cricket Association as we embarked on the delivery of an ambitious and exciting education programme focusing on anti-racism, unconscious bias and cultural difference. We have since started the training for all domestic male and female cricket teams and the England men’s and women’s squads, and are thrilled to hear the positive response from the programme so far. Read PCA Vice Chair, Anuj Dal’s thoughts on the training in The Cricketer.
April 2021

The power of hearing about leaders’ experiences of inclusion and exclusion

This month we have heard from leaders about their experiences of identity and inclusion. On Yom Hashoah, the Jewish remembrance day for the Holocaust, leaders pledged to fight anti-Semitism in the workplace and in society. We also listened as actor Thandiwe Newton announced that she is reclaiming the original Shona spelling of her name, shining a light on identity and belongingness in our places of work.
April 2021

Bank of England recognises LGBT pioneer

We are delighted to see that, following February’s LGBT History Month, the new Bank of England £50 banknote design will feature mathematician and codebreaker, Alan Turing. This is a huge acknowledgement to the contributions made by Turing and other LGBT people throughout our history. The announcement follows the passing of the Turing Law which in 2017 pardoned men who were cautioned or convicted for homosexual acts under historical legislation thought to have affected more than 50,000 men. Turing himself was convicted and placed on a chemical and hormonal programme, prior to his suicide in 1954. He is remembered for his work developing a coding machine which successfully deciphered German Army communications, seen as pivotal in shortening World War Two and saving lives.
March 2021

International Women’s Day – 8 March

#Choose to challenge is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day. It’s an important time to celebrate the impressive achievements of women across the world in social, economic, cultural and political affairs. But it is also an opportunity to raise awareness of continuing gender inequalities and the need to lobby for gender parity. #Choose to challenge means calling out gender bias and inequality everywhere, both individually and collectively.

This year we have been working with our clients to provide drop-in ‘lunch and learn’ sessions on women in business; we’ve helped a global organisation to set up an international women’s network, which is launched today to mark IWD; and Lisa Jobson has examined how workplaces can best support working mothers and provide flexible working beyond the pandemic. Today’s Guardian article on the experience of the pandemic for women is a sobering reminder of its unequal effect on gender, with fears in the UK of a return to the inequalities of the 1970s.
March 2021

Inclusivity in the Research Sector

EW Group Director, Lisa Jobson, recently joined the panel of an event hosted by IFF Research on the subject of why inclusive cultures, diversity, and representation matter within Research. The event explored why the industry must look inwardly at its commitment to D&I and what exactly it means to build inclusivity. Lisa was joined on the Panel by CEO of Market Research Society (MRS), Jane Frost, and Senior Research Officer of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Victoria Cummings.

We are encouraged to see the positive steps MRS is taking in leading and defining inclusivity as a sector body, including the launch of the CEO Inclusion Pledge, of which IFF Research was an early signatory. Victoria’s work in setting up the Black, Asian Minority Ethnic Staff Network at the ONS and the impact and reach the network has achieved, is a great example of empowering employees, and driving change through collaboration. Discover the key takings from the conversation in this article by IFF Research.
March 2021

Royal Bank of Scotland

EW Group co-founder and CEO, Jane Farrell, explains why inclusivity must remain a top focus for businesses in the coming months and years, post-Brexit and as we recover from Covid-19. Read what Jane and other leading diversity specialists have to say in this Royal Bank of Scotland article.
February 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.