COMPANY APPROACH TO RACIAL INJUSTICE
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION TO EMPLOYEES OF THE FISER GROUP 12TH JUNE 2020
I hope you are well and keeping safe.
I know that usually we like to keep our company updates light-hearted and as positive as possible. However, due to the events unfolding in the past few weeks, we felt it was imperative for us to address the important issues of inequality and injustice that prevail in our society.
You will obviously be aware of the whirlwind of discussions and protests following the tragic events surrounding George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis whilst being arrested by police officers. The death of George Floyd and other events around the world have reminded us that the war against racism is far from over, and so we believe it is important that we take a stand in solidarity against racial discrimination and injustice.
As of now various people in our business are:
Speaking with UK Charities that work directly with young people from ethnic minority backgrounds
Looking into internal schemes and redesigning internship opportunities
Researching volunteering opportunities such as working with local schools to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds with their career choices and preparation for interview
Educating ourselves and encouraging the sharing of resources and materials throughout the business
How will we measure, track and evaluate progress?
Within our Diversity Team, we have a working group focusing solely on ethnicity who meet weekly. This working group then feeds into the ESG work stream, to cover some of the Social elements of ESG.
We want to see a marked change in black representation within our client base. We want to be an active part of this change. We will be looking at ways of measuring this change, as we have done for gender diversity through our WiFI index.
We want to see greater black representation within our own business. We will be working with our own recruitment partners and looking at ways of further diversifying our own talent.
At The FISER Group, we pride ourselves on the diversity initiatives we participate in, as well as the diversity awards we have won. Due to our presence in the financial services sector we recognise there is a great platform to learn, educate and support – so we have been taking this time to educate ourselves first and foremost, in part by taking the time to read and reflect on some of the following resources:-
The “Doll test” psychological experiment – The effects of racism on children
Jane Elliott’s Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise How Racist Are You?
Jabari Lyles, Ted Talk, Black self, white world: lessons on internalized racism
Life of privilege explained in a $100 race – Video
Baratunde Thurston, Ted Talk, How to deconstruct racism one headline at a time
Vernā Myers, Ted Talk, How to overcome our biases and walk boldly toward them
Emmanuel Acho, Uncomfortable conversations with a Black Man
Seeing White podcast series, http://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/
From the author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race the podcast series https://www.aboutracepodcast.com/
Resmaa Menakem, Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence
Penguin Random House, A collated list of anti-racist books & resources for adults and children
We want to encourage all staff at all levels to spend some time each week building their levels of awareness of these issues. Inactivity or ignorance is not an option if we are to play our part in influencing change.
We want to have transparent and open conversations that help to effect change, so please feel free to reach out with any concerns, opinions, ideas or questions you may have. We would also love to hear from you if there are any other resources you may feel would be beneficial to the ethnicity working group.
As a reminder, we have an external HR resource as part of our “Employee Voice Proposal” program where you can reach out to have confidential conversations to voice any concerns you may have on this or any other issues.
We believe that racial equality is an issue that should not only be considered in a time of crisis, but should be held as a long term value of our business in order to make communities stronger and workforces more united through their diversity.
We have had a clear Diversity & Equal Opportunities Policy in place for every day of our trading since March 2010, but a policy by itself is not enough.
We’re going to do more, and be better as a result.
Colin Webster, CEO