Race Equality Matters is excited to award the Bronze Trailblazer and #MyNameIs Trailblazer status to GI Group!
GI Group is a pioneer in its commitment to tackling race inequality and Race Equality Matters’ independent panellists certified the need to celebrate this and reward the Organisation with a trailblazer status. 60% of them stated that GI Group is the type of organisation they would like to work for, vouching for the culture of inclusivity the organisation has established. The judges consistently referred to GI Group’s “initiative” in tackling racism, as well as praising the “very ambitious” and “strong” application.
Implement #MyNameIs and be a Trailblazer
Race Equality Matters #MyNameIs, is a simple but highly impactful solution to ensure everyone pronounces people’s names correctly. The campaign calls to normalise phonetic spelling in your email signature, meetings, name badges and more. In a recent poll, 88% of respondents thought a phonetic name spelling campaign would help tackle race inequality. Since Race Equality Week, in February 2022, the GI Group has used the #MyNameIs campaign to successfully tackle racial inequality within their organisation. Through internal communications, use on email signatures, embedding within inductions and publicising on social media, both staff and external stakeholders have incorporated phonetic name spelling into their work practice to enable staff to “be themselves”. All judges unanimously agreed that the GI Group had successfully ran #MyNameIs.
Alongside #MyNameIs, other action has been taken across the organisation. The D&I committee- consisting of varied ethnicity and seniority within the organisation- has committed to action, including:
- Resource development: This year an article was published and sent to employees, based on employee lived experience of microaggressions alongside resources for support. Webinars and training have also directed employees to resources for self-education on racism in the workplace.
- Activities for celebration and awareness: Alongside celebrations for Eid and Ramadan, reciprocal mentoring has been established to ensure awareness and understanding of racism has reached the top of the organisation.
- D&I strategy: The GI Group have set themselves “real objectives and sustainable goals” with their 2 year D&I strategy for 2022-23. This includes use of data for diversity monitoring, recruitment of diverse talent, retention of diverse talent and improved well-being and inclusion.
One judge praised the bravery and pioneering nature of this strategy:
“[I] Commend the organisation for being open and honest about not doing anything D&I related prior to 2021 and to have achieved so much since is admirable not to mention demonstrates their commitment to tackling racial inequality by action not just words.”
Make an Impact to Achieve the Trailblazer Status
To achieve both Bronze and #MyNameIs Trailblazer status, meaningful impact needs to be evidenced. Through the GI Group’s sustained action, meaningful impact and change has been successfully facilitated across the organisation. One judge praised the “clear” evidence that was provided, using qualitative data and testimonials, and all judges considered the evidence of impact as “good” or “clear and substantial”. The sustainable impact was upheld by senior leadership and the support they have maintained:
“To attempt to get people on board we have to meet up with our managers before any initiatives are introduced so we can get them on board first and then they can cascade it down to their teams.”
Through this organisation-wide approach, #MyNameIs and other initiatives have created positive change. The D&I training created positive feedback, as 84% felt the sessions made them feel better informed about topics of discussion. #MyNameIs has also helped to change workplace culture, as well as having an impact on individuals with employees informing judges that:
- “I’m glad the #MyNameIs campaign is opening up this debate and pushing people to be more considerate and respectful. In the business I work in, relationships are everything, and it’s really damaging for a relationship if you can’t get a person’s name right.”
- “Spreading education on how to approach this, and adding phonetic spelling to our signatures gave people confidence, and made for a good conversation starter when speaking to external contacts too.”
Moving forward, the GI Group intends to keep the momentum towards racial equality going. The future plans stated in the application were one of the highest ranked sections of their application, with 80% of judges considering it from “good” to “clear and substantial”. Future plans include: employing 20 interns under the ‘10,000 Black Interns’ programme, facilitating bank holiday annual leave around cultural individuality, hosting ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions (with one planned for Black History Month) and reviewing/anonymising the organisation’s recruitment process.
The GI Group have demonstrated commitment and impact for change. Their #MyNameIs and Bronze Trailblazer status echoes the impact felt by the organisation’s Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees. Celebrating our Trailblazer community will accelerate the change and momentum towards racial equality, through action not words.
Follow GI Group’s Lead: Become a Trailblazer
If your organisation is driving change for Race Equality and you can demonstrate impact, endorsement from ethnic background employees and share future plans; register your interest for the next round of trailblazers.