The Workplace: Mar/Apr 2021

Tackling racial inequality should become a priority for us all.

Modern progressive workplaces... an exciting destination.

These are organisations that are constantly challenging how things have always been done. How conventional wisdom is replaced with more adventurous entrepreneurial thinking. Doing the same ‘things’ time and time again lead to the same outcome – no progression, no boundaries pushed and, most importantly, no permanent change.

Flexible working has been challenged by agile working.There is now widespread recognition that work and life have increasingly merged. The gender conversation found a home on the boardroom agenda 10 years ago; although there’s some way to go, there has been some strong work addressing gender inequality.

But if we are to create real modern progressive workplaces, then racial inequality should become a priority for us all. 

It is the stated ambition of our Board that we are going to change Goodman Masson the for the better, with a commitment to ensuring that diversity, inclusion and respect lie at the centre of everything we do – fundamentally changing the way we are behaving, and the way we understand and think about equality. Others have, too… Imagine if we all did.

How can we remove the barriers for increased participation from underrepresented groups. How as a sector can we achieve this ambition?

KPMG’s recent article, ‘How to start talking about workplace racism’, is such a good read. It reminds you just how far we all must go but also of the positive start that many organisations have made in addressing inequalities. KPMG’s underpinning message of holding regular discussions about race, managing our own biases and ensuring management are comfortable with the conversations about race are all actions we can implement.

We have ensured that everyone can identify with their own unconscious bias through participation in Harvard’s Project Implicit test. If you haven’t done so, give it a go. A wonderful starting point for change.

‘Partnering for Racial Justice in Business’, launched by the World Economic Forum, has well laid out objectives in helping design racially and ethnically just workplaces, by asking companies to address racism at all levels. ‘Tackling racism in the workplace’, the hub developed by CIPD, is crammed full of information and resources and supported by an excellent range of webinars.

If we are to create real modern, progressive workplaces, then racial inequality should become a priority for us all”

We have an opportunity to deliver a lasting programme of change in the sector we know and love by providing the landscape of opportunity for all ethnicities. We sit at the centre of how organisations grow by finding great talent – we are the key pathway of how people find great opportunities. As a sector, we can be instrumental in leading the way and changing the landscape of opportunity. And driven by a purpose we can achieve greater diversity for UK business by helping our clients with their sourcing and attraction strategies.

How do we do this?

Starting with a real commitment to changing the diversity profile of people entering our sector.

Over the past year there has been much discussion. I believe it is now time to deliver meaningful change that challenges systemic racism, bias and redefines equal opportunity within the recruitment sector.

We all should work in a modern, progressive sector.

Guy Hayward – redefining the modern workplace CEO, Goodman Masson

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Let me start by trying to give you some context.

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