In the words of one of his then closest allies, Michael Gove, in 2016 after gazumping his first leadership bid, Boris would fail to “stick up for the forgotten people of this country.” Herd mentality may have kept Prime Minister Boris Johnson in power longer than many expected but ultimately, it was those forgotten people who today courageously secured his removal.
"I'm not scared of difference, I actually embrace it. I love talking to people who are different and it's all about the excitement of the human experience."
By emphasising social justice, inclusion and the equality of human rights in all that you do, you can create the ultimate working environment for creative ideas, perspectives and opinions to thrive. That means taking a naturally and actively anti-oppressive stance on conversations and matters concerning all areas of diversity from age, race, gender, ability, nationality, religion, sexuality and more.
Look around you. Look at the people you work with, the environment you have created, the atmosphere that drives you. Whether you love it or loathe it, the chances are that these things are a huge part of not just your life but those who work for you. You have the ability to make or break their day, their careers, hopes and dreams.
Like many things, customer service protocols are mostly still written by white people, for white people. But this doesn’t equip service teams with the full array of customer dimensions and situations they’re likely to be faced with. Consider having the breadth and terminology of protocols regularly reviewed by a diverse set of eyes to ensure they remain current, inclusive and broad enough to cover multi-cultural matters without any unwelcome discomfort.
“The target is not men, it is sexist patriarchy. It is not the elite, it is the ignorant. It is not heterosexuals, it is homophobia. It is not the old, it is those who disregard the young. The target is not white people, it is white supremacy.”
Before COVID-19, the prevailing theory was that workers out of sight or working remotely could rarely perform at their best, or indeed ‘make a livin’. But that turned out to be a perception bias – just because certain extroverted subgroups may generally perform better under traditional ways of working, the reality for a wider workforce is far more multifaceted.
Active inclusion aims to retain diverse talent by creating an environment where the differences that define oppressed people are genuinely valued, appreciated and ultimately integrated into the very fabric of a business. This ensures everyone is treated fairly and feel able to raise their concerns and can perform at their best.
With none of the FTSE 100’s current CEOs, Chairs or CFOs embodying any black ethnicity whatsoever, race inclusion today is in reverse, now at its lowest level since 2013. In our complacency, the far right (or alt right) are visibly succeeding at working to remove uniqueness from our societies and businesses.
Just one year into her role as Wall Street's first ever female CEO, Jane Fraser’s appointment to the only banking board with more women than men has been warm, with markets deeming her at least as capable a leader and inspiration as the men that came before her. But with around 40% of women still seeing no viable path to Executive (Finsia, 2021), finding new women to replace them from lower ranks remains a challenge.
Bringing people and teams together is the most fundamental purpose of a workplace, and yet all too often they can serve to achieve the exact opposite.
Women have been working to break the bias for 6,000 years without success. Today we understand how powerful public advocacy and allyship is as a tool for fighting oppression. Could it hold the key to unlocking women's potential?