Why is Race Equality Week important?
Tackling race inequality is an important priority for Hammersmith & Fulham Council, because we want ALL of our staff to feel valued and respected.
REW provides an opportunity for us as an organisation to join together with others to put on a programme of events and a week of action, to raise public consciousness and awareness of race equality issues in the workplace.
Our CEO Kim Smith chairs the Chief Executives London Committee Pan-London Tackling Racial Inequality Programme. Our council has signed up to the Race at Work Charter. We also have race leads, champions and volunteers that support this work and our Race equality Staff Forum. Race Equality Week 2022 (REW 2022) will help push the actions on these agendas forward. #ActionNotJustWords
The beauty of REW is that it brings organisations together to share best practice about a common goal of addressing race equality barriers in the workplace.
Why is this year’s Race Equality Week theme #ActionNotJustWords so important?
Race Equality Week is about being solution focussed and nationwide collaboration for real change. Race Equality Matters has helped facilitate this
Racism is ingrained in society through people’s conscious and unconscious behaviours and systematically through institutional structures, procedures, and processes. Futile discussions are not enough – turning this into real positive action is a necessity.
Actions include raising awareness, creating platforms for voices to be heard, rewriting policies, making changes to inequitable systemic structures; and providing support for those who are affected.
We need to work collaboratively on transformation to overcome this global challenge. It is important not to be complacent.
“For those of us who are white, or pass as white, we have an important and more active role to play. That’s why I want to do more to promote race equality and why I believe that I have a role to ensure other voices and experiences can be heard or amplified above mine. That’s exactly why we need to talk about race and set objectives in our all our roles in relation to race equality, whatever background we are from. Diversity is so important to me and why I believe that truly diverse societies and workforces can build something better than any single experience alone. So that’s why race matters to me. I am 100% committed to working towards doing the right thing as SRO and a big believer in what gets measured gets done.”
Emily Hill – Director of Finance and Senior Responsible Officer at Hammersmith & Fulham Council
What are Hammersmith & Fulham's plans for Race Equality Week?
At H&F we’re making equity, diversity and inclusion everyone’s business. We’ve focussed on race equality in response to the BLM movement and the fact is there is still lots of work to be done on tackling racial injustice and inequality. We plan to raise awareness about our current/future initiatives to tackle and address racial inequality in the workplace.
At H&F we will also launch the Big Promise which is a commitment to action not just words and hold several events throughout the week. This will include a “Tea Break Tuesday” session hosted by our Race Equality Staff Forum.
What do you hope to achieve as a result?
Our objective is to inspire and unite colleagues as we work towards becoming a fully inclusive employer and achieving equity for all. We hope to:
- raise awareness about the everyday race equality issues that affect employees;
- unite employees, keeping the agenda fresh and current;
- get more staff (including allies and Senior Managers) involved in our initiatives to tackle race inequality; and
- drive meaningful action that makes an impact.
This supports the shared view that Race Equality will only be achieved when we all play a part for us to start to see the change we want to see and feel.
“I’m proud of the work that H&F are doing around race equality. I feel that over the past 18 months H&F have made a positive move towards really thinking about Racial Inequality not only on how it impacts staff but also those that we work with and provide a service for in the local authority. For myself in the organisation I feel that I have been further empowered to be a driving force as I have been encouraged rather than allowed to be involved. Within my directorate, my director is actively interested in hearing feedback and has gone further by pulling in support from external people I have introduced to drive change. I feel my voice is being listened to and action being completed in a thoughtful way in order to drive about change. This is so refreshing as I have been in workplaces where concerns have been raised and no action is ever taken. I am excited to see the changes Race Equality Week will bring, as if done well and properly it will transform the lives of all those that work and/or live in the LA.”
Khushali Supeda Transitions Manager – Family Support, Children’s Services