Race Equality is Everyone’s Business: Race Equality Week 2023 and starting as we mean to go on
“Great Start. Great Theme. Here’s to continued significant & incremental changes. For the first time ever Senior Leadership have come on board with Race Equality Week from the suggestion of the Staff Network. The 5 day challenge has been shared corporate wide.”
(a member of the Race Equality Matters community)
2023 marks the 3rd Race Equality Week and is an annual diary fixture starting on the first Monday in February. This year’s theme was focussing on making race equality everyone’s business.
The week was kicked off on Monday morning, welcoming over 400 attendees from over 300 organisations. From Wrexham to York, Birmingham to Belfast, Leeds to Lagos and Carlisle to Chenai, the event had national and international reach through Race Equality Matters’ diverse and growing community.
Race Equality Week was created to act as a catalyst and keep the momentum going.
for ongoing change, a means to unite millions of employees that are on their journey against racial inequality and to focus leaders in driving this change.
How can race equality become everyone’s business in your workplace?
How can ownership on race equality be distributed across teams, roles and levels?
The answer is intentional, inclusive and accountable action.
Polls conducted in our event identified that over half of the attendees had planned the 5 Day Challenge to do during Race Equality Week in their organisation; with 69% of them believing the Challenge will help make race equality everyone’s business and 70% considering the challenge more (or significantly more) effective than other D&I initiatives.
With over 220 Big Promises already made, Green Park continues to act as a Trailblazer for other organisations, as Raj reflected:
‘We will ensure our focus remains on action not words. But, last and not least, part of our own big promise is to drive equality and inclusion across UK workplaces.’
How can you engage in this nationwide drive for race equality?
Hearing from the Experts
Race Equality Matters works with experts and leading organisations in the D&I field through a collaborative approach to facilitate and empower change.
Key is the focus on what works.
Alongside our co-founders- Javed (Jaah-Vhed) Thomas and Raj Tulsian (Tul-see-ah-nee)– we welcomed Mark Lomas (Loh-Mass)(Head of Culture at Lloyds) and Navleen (Nuh-Vleen) Kalra (Inclusion and Transformation Director at Network Rail). All of our speakers engaged with the idea of the need to ‘bake’ in the commitment and action necessary to facilitate change.
Mark reflected on Lloyd’s use of Race Equality Matters’ solutions and other initiatives to ensure accountability at an individual and team level and considered them ‘year-round tools’ and not something just for Race Equality Week. Mark also informed participants of the positive aspects the holistic positive outcomes of such change:
‘Everyone benefits from an inclusive environment, so it is everyone’s job to contribute to that. It is not enough to have a handful of allies.’
Also discussing the need for allyship and Network Rail’s use of an allyship model, Navleen spoke of the need to check our ‘blind spots’ on race equality particularly at the leadership level. Navleen also reflected on what inclusion means at Network Rail:
‘Inclusion is something that leadership has to drive, but it is absolutely on the ground everyday interactions that it has to be manifested. This is how you give that sense of belonging to marginalised colleagues.’
Hearing from the Community
Race Equality Week is about engaging, networking and collaborating to achieve continued change. This means listening to our community, in which many feel unheard during what can be a ‘lonely battle’ for ethnically diverse employees and others. Here’s what some of our attendees had to say:
“I feel working together and bringing awareness we can all make a difference in combating inequalities and racism in the workplace. What a brilliant kick off- I love seeing the evolution of Race Equality Week, and Race Equality Matters smashed it!”
Let’s make sure Race Equality Week doesn’t become a distant memory. Let’s make sure the drive against race inequality starts now. #ItsEveryonesBusiness