Racial Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace

14th Oct 2022

To raise awareness around Black History Month, we’re talking on the topic of racial diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This is a big subject for many and one that is close to the heart of all ethnic minorities and underrepresented groups.

What is Black History Month?

Firstly, let’s talk about what Black History Month is all about. 

Black History Month was created to honour Black people from all periods of history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century, right through to the global Black population of today. 

Racial discrimination is more common than you might think

Statistics from Forbes state that ‘70% of respondents indicated that they have experienced some type of discrimination or abusive behaviour at work. Sadder still, that average jumps to 86% for the youngest working generation, Gen-Z’ - the statistics are shocking!

Farah, Content and SEO Lead at Flexa Careers talks about her experience of racial discrimination and how this has impacted her career:

“Being of an ethnic minority group, I’ve faced racism right from being a young child through to education and beyond that. Not only did this impact my confidence in the past but also my overall mental well-being. My concern going into a professional working environment was whether I’d face the same treatment, wondering how this would impact my career and whether this would limit my progression opportunities. 

I’m thankful not to have had a bad experience in my previous roles but, when it comes to the job application process, I have definitely felt prejudice and at times been cut short of opportunities. A few years ago, I received a comment from a recruiter who openly communicated that the company they were hiring for was only looking for candidates of a white background, which I was completely baffled by - race/ethnicity has nothing to do with a person's talent, skills or abilities.

In previous jobs, most often than not I’ve been the only diverse employee within the company, and I know this is the case for many other ethnic minorities. That’s not at all to say companies wouldn’t love to be more diverse and inclusive. But I do think companies need to further invest their time into building a solid DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) strategy and actioning it.”

Employers who are racially diverse and inclusive 

We've spoken to some Flexified companies who are advocates for diversity and inclusivity, discussing what they currently do and plan to do moving forward.

Ably 

Ably are committed to building a more inclusive workforce by continually looking to hire more women and those from underrepresented groups. They’ve set out what they do to foster diversity and inclusivity in a blog and have included what they plan to do next.

Learnerbly 

“We include Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging into all of our work, like we did when we co-created our evolved values, included our people’s thoughts on reward, co-created Winter Wonderbly, etc.

Last year, we built DEIB ground work and mapped out the baseline of our employee experience with the Baseline Survey.

This year, as our OKRs show, PX focuses on foundational work around reward, performance, and progression - a decision informed both by our strategic expertise and the input of our people.

We could do performative work, but we don’t take DEIB for granted: we want our work to land, and to have an impact. It didn’t feel right to us to share a bunch of stories for likes without putting time in to build a meaningful project that drives change.

Instead, we’re allocating our current resources to successfully deliver our foundational work - building for our users. We’re doing that knowing from the Baseline Survey that belonging is the driver we rate highest.

We’ll work on higher-level, strategic DEIB work that needs focus in isolation and defines how we approach specific landmarks when we have the capacity as a PX team - after they’ve delivered our foundational work.

For now, we keep embedding DEIB in the DNA of all the work we do and always including intentionally to create an environment where everyone can belong, share their thoughts and live more fulfilling lives. You can also read more about Learnerbly’s values.

Marie Krebs - People Product Lead

Cronofy

“We want to provide more transparency in our recruitment process, both to increase the quality of interviews and also to contribute to our commitment to equality for all applicants” 

Cronofy details their entire interview process, assessment criteria and FAQs to ensure all applicants can prepare fairly.

Mark Harbottle - Head Of Talent

Many companies this month will be raising awareness around the significance of racial diversity and inclusion in the workplace to support Black History Month. We all, however, know that power comes from action. As businesses, we need to ensure we create safe and inclusive spaces for all, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion or sexuality.