How far we have – or haven’t – come on race.
We all know diversity and inclusion matters. An evolved set of values leads to better-performing people, resulting in better-performing companies and higher share prices – “profit with purpose”. Strides have been made on gender but race is still lags far behind.
After much activism such as #metoo, great strides have been taken to bring gender to the forefront of organisational consciousness and we have become comfortable with gender equality as a key metric of corporate diversity. Racial diversity, however, is much further behind and sits in a similar spot to where LGBT was 20 years ago, with no-one knowing how or where to start the conversation.
I was recently invited to present a session on “Being BAME in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure” to an audience of C-suite and HR leaders. The aim of the session was to share experience of being a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) person working in our industry, sharing the challenges experienced every day and discussing why it’s important to shift unconscious biases. We are at the beginning of building truly racially inclusive organisations and my top three “must dos” as shared from research by The Equality Group are
Understand the definition of BAME – appreciate intersectionality: Break down BAME into which minorities it covers. Ensure understanding of the racial backgrounds and differences in religion, ethnicity etc.
Radical recruitment: Have clear targets for the percentage of BAME candidates, for example 10% of a shortlist. Expand into a broader search pool and partner with networks and firms who can help.
Relationships and role models: Raise the profile of key BAME professionals in your organisation. Encourage role models to tell their stories through different mediums such as videos, lunch and learns, and podcasts. Consider reverse mentoring, BAME on BAME mentoring, and BAME on non-BAME mentoring across the organisation.