Meet the Trailblazer: Northamptonshire Carers

Race Equality Matters is excited to award the Bronze Trailblazer status to Northamptonshire Carers!

 

Northamptonshire Carers is a pioneer in the drive towards racial equality, and Race Equality Matters’ independent panellists certified the need to celebrate this. 86% of judges voted that Northamptonshire Carers is the type of organisation they would like to work for, demonstrating the organisation’s inclusive and diverse workplace values. The judges consistently praised the action taken so far, with one praising the “fantastic sets of accomplishments already” and stated that “The movement is there.”.

 

Pioneering Action for Change

Northamptonshire Carers exemplify that action, not words, are essential when tackling workplace race inequality. With a D&I team and race network that have led initiatives for change, Northamptonshire Carers has committed to long-term action. The network represents Black women of Caribbean heritage, with over 75% of the Black daytime staff being members of it. With senior leadership support, the network has led action to tackle race inequality at an instrumental level and all judges unanimously voted that this organisation had successfully taken action. This action includes:

  • Commitment to Individual Change: During the organisation’s Race Equality Week, they used the Big Promise to improve accountability and commitment at an individual level. The CEO publicly made their Big Promise, with external engagement too.
  • Updating Policy for positive change: The organisation’s ‘Mission and Values’ statement has been updated (with a section added on inclusivity), and the ED&I policy has also been revised to include a ‘positive action’ section. This revision of strategy and statements demonstrates commitment to change at a senior level.
  • Enabling inclusivity for all ethnic minority groups: Northamptonshire Carers and their race network assisted in founding the Asian Male Carers Group through adapting to their requirements and feedback. This system/model is now being used for other underrepresented groups in the sector, due to initial success.
  • Providing education on race and racism: During Carers Week, the organisation hosted a ‘Lunch and Learn’ that discussed racism in the workplace to both internal and external stakeholders. Through the ‘WorkForce Development’, mandatory ED&I workshops, training and #MyNameIs is provided to staff.

 

Achieving Meaningful Impact

To achieve Bronze Trailblazer status, Northamptonshire Carers has also achieved meaningful impact for ethnically diverse employees. Judges praised the “honest discussion about challenges” that the network faced, and recognised that meaningful impact was still achieved despite initial scepticism. The organisation provided the judges with some examples of this impact, including:

  • D&I workshop efficacy: These workshops provided allies  with a space to understand how their work and work experiences may differ from ethnically diverse colleagues. Reception and feedback from this exemplifies the impact these workshops had.
  • Promotion of ethnically diverse staff: There are now 2 GEM senior members of staff (of Caribbean heritage) within the organisation, facilitating change from the top:

Through peer support they feel more confident in their role and are able to influence recruitment, organisational change, as well as address race inequalities in health not only for those accessing our services but to influence the wider communities by partnership working with other organisations and stakeholders.”

Judges praised the impact achieved so far, with one stating:

“Tangible progress [is] represented. [There is a] Clear desire to engage and empower diverse voices and use co-production to generate representative changes and influence partner organisations.”

 

Next steps…

Moving forward, Northamptonshire Carers remain committed in the drive against racial inequality. With this section their highest scoring, all judges voted that the organisation had evidenced planned future action as either “good” or “clear and substantial”. Some of these plans included: future ‘Lunch and Learns’ with county professionals, to update and analyse the recruitment process for inclusivity and to formalise the Big Promise into staff annual appraisals to strengthen accountability. It is clear that Northamptonshire Carers are being proactive in their approach to racism in the workplace.

Northamptonshire Carers and its network have demonstrated commitment and impact for change. Their 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 Northamptonshire Carers’ 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.

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