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What can your business do to understand the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement?
In light of the recent events surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, it is more important than ever for everyone, including businesses, to recognise what is happening and do their part.
Within organisations it can sometimes be frowned upon to bring up and openly discuss taboo, political or touchy subjects. However, the injustices faced by people of colour exists in the workplace too and should absolutely be a topic of conversation. Of course it is a subject that needs to be approached in a respectful and sensitive manner. There are a number of ways in which this can be done in the workplace and this article will help employers with how they might go about this.
Educate, educate, educate!
Education is key and what better way to do this than to have someone who has faced these issues head on talk to your staff. Hiring a speaker that advocates for people of colour, diversity, acceptance and equality is the best way to ignite an important discussion with nothing but facts and honest information. There are a number of black history speakers available to help you begin this conversation within your workplace in the most professional and sensible way possible.
Actively promote diversity in the workplace
Diversity is essential to the modern day workplace and when we use the word diversity here, it is a broad term that expands further than just ethnicity or race. However, when it comes to race, many businesses still lack diversity.
There are so many ways in which you can promote diversity within your business. From making your business a more comfortable place for everyone to be and creating a sense of belonging, to actively standing up against any injustices that happen within your place of work.
It is important to make sure you are hiring people from a range of backgrounds, but doing so because they are talented and will be an asset to your business and make sure they are given equal opportunities.
Another way in which you can promote diversity in the workplace is by changing the way in which you publicise job roles and following that up in the way you hire people. For example, publicising your jobs in minority publications opens you up to a broader audience with varying talents. When it comes to interviews and your hiring process, trying things such as blind applications and inclusive interviews can make sure you are hiring in the fairest way possible.
Make information easily accessible
Like we mentioned at the beginning, education is key and it is important that as a business you allow your employees to do this. Whilst they are able to do their own research, you can help by making information easily accessible, and a few ways in which you can do that are:
Leave reading material throughout the office for staff to read in their free time
Create a Slack channel solely for employees to share articles, educational material, fundraisers and petitions related to the Black Lives Matter movement
Make sure your employees know that they can approach you to discuss the subject
Arrange focus groups for people to speak, share their experiences and relevant information
Be an ally
Lastly, be sure to actively promote and donate to relevant charities involved with BLM, whether you have a fundraising day, or make a one off donation, showing your support in this way proves that you are serious about change for the better.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes