In December 2020, the Cabinet Office announced that unconscious bias training is being phased out of the civil service on the grounds that there is no proof that it changes behaviour and that it may in fact cause a negative response. This comes after a group of MPs previously refused to undergo training on the grounds that it was ‘pandering to the woke agenda’ and it shows the depth of resistance within government to this type of training. But are they right?
I grew up feeling like a bit of an outsider. I have carried that with me throughout life, and always tried to think about who isn’t here, or who we aren’t talking about or including. That can be a challenging question, but I think it’s an important one for all organisations and people to think about.
Numerous studies show that Black, Asian and minority ethnic employees still face significant barriers in the workplace. From recruitment and progression to reaching leadership positions, there are strategies that organisations can adopt to improve team representation from entry level all the way through to boardroom.
This could be a very long article as to why and how racism still exists within modern British society. I could divulge countless racist experiences I have personally had – such as being attacked by the police, or racist slurs in the workplace – but this was not the focus of my talk at the B4 One Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Talk, or this piece. Rather, the purpose is to speak to how we can tangibly contribute to seeing racial equality and equity become the institutional norm in the corporate setting.
Great Western Railway has worked collaboratively with colleagues to establish an Inclusion and Diversity Strategy and Action Plan that creates an environment where all colleagues feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work. Over 600 colleagues and Trades Union representatives worked with us to develop the strategy that aims to achieve our vision where: We are progressive. We are one family. We are inclusive. First time, every time.