The shocking death of George Floyd and the public outrage across the world has given us all pause for thought. That the protests happened at a time when we were seeing alarming infection and death rates from COVID-19 in BAME communities, only adds to the urgency of the situation.
Almost 60% of our staff and 37% of people we support come from Black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds. Before the Black Lives Matter movement exploded in May 2020, racial inequality was already something we were working to address.
As well as the Government, organisations have a responsibility to combat racism. As an organisation we stand in solidarity with those who want to bring about change and feel that systemic racism must be addressed both personally and professionally. We recognise and are against inequality and stand for justice and unity in race and everything else that defines us.
Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy sets out to find new and innovative ways to tackle discrimination within the organisation and we have recently established a BAME network group to support, challenge and drive Certitude forward. We are aware that we still have a long way to go, but feedback from this group will steer our approach.
Everybody has a role to play
The chair of the BAME network, Lavern Dinah, says, “This is an opportunity for everyone to become more informed about the impact of racism and inequality on colleagues, the people we support and their families in our Black communities. The Black Lives Matter movement has helped people to see that racism is an issue that impacts on everybody’s lives, and everyone has a role to play in eliminating it.”
Lavern has been talking to BAME colleagues and leaders from across our organisation and is inviting further insights and comments – and importantly, driving the changes we want to see happen at Certitude. At this stage we are listening and learning so that we can move forward effectively to eradicate any systemic racism and discrimination within our organisation.
CEO Aisling Duffy says: “This is the time for everyone to talk about and stand up to racism. I am committed to leading an organisation in which people from all different backgrounds can feel comfortable and confident in their own skin and bring their whole self to work.”