We know that BME staff are:
* less likely to be recruited
* less likely to be promoted
* more likely to be disciplined
An HR Director publicly spoke these words in 2016. When I heard them, I wasn’t angry, nor was I annoyed. I thought at least he is willing to say in public what many in his position have consistently refused to acknowledge.
Reasonably speaking, those words should have ushered in root and branch changes. Sadly, they did not. To be sure, there were examples of good practice to address inequalities, but systemic interrogation of structures, culture or working practices? No.
More widely, recent reports summarise the exact conclusions uttered by the HR Director. The effect on BME/BAME staff across a range of indicators (these are not terms I like incidentally, but we’ll go with them) is disproportionate. That term alone does not even begin to address the unjust, unequal, and painful treatment suffered by many.
One of the most recent reports includes an investigation that found that the NHS Blood Unit was systemically racist.
Another report focuses on Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19
The reports echo the findings of so many other reports – disparities in the treatment of BAME communities. (Health warning – it is alleged that contributions from interested parties such as the Muslim Council are not included in the report.)
Other sectors, including banking, arts, legal, are not without their own issues.
Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin was interviewed on Sky News yesterday . She echoed my thoughts, we don’t want any more reports; we want meaningful action to address systemic racism.
The opportunities for you and me to take action are vast. Whether that be participating in peaceful protests, having constructive conversations about race, or writing to your MP to ask them what they are doing about the issue, as well as educating ourselves – we can all do something.
In the words of Maya Angelou:
Do the best until you know better.
Then when you know better.
We ALL now know so, no excuses, let’s ALL do better.
Remember. We know.
Dawn H Jones
Hello, I’m Dawn. I am an HR specialist. I hope you found this blog useful if you’d like to receive regular content, we’d love to have you – press the subscribe button.SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG