Shaping the business towards Allyship
In the broader context of the Black Lives Matter movement I feel that globally, we are all being challenged to sit up and take notice of our own biases, the systemic racism around us and to make real and lasting change. As a business leader I’m compelled to ask, “what part can I play in changing institutional racism?”
A first top tip from commentators on developing an anti-racist plan is to get educated. Read up on our history, understand how racism works and what it feels like, start to recognise the unrecognisable privilege white people have.
I started with Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge and I highly recommend it.
But I believe that I have two key roles to play: one is the same for all of us – listening, learning, challenging our privilege and standing alongside those who are being treated unfairly. The second one is about my expertise in unconscious bias, through this strength I can make a difference and the business has begun to reshape its focus and energy into this space, moving far beyond interview skills.
What has surprised me in this journey is the reaction of a few predominantly white people. In the local, everyday conversations, where our friends and family get upset about us raising the topic of racism I have to ask, what else could be going on? When someone we know to be friendly and kind suddenly seems so closed and defensive because we started a conversation about white privilege?