Race Equality Matters is not a talk shop. Nor will we fixate on what is not working. We inspire change by creating solutions and working with organisations to implement them.
Safe Space is one of these solutions.
Safe Space will provide a protected environment to enable brave conversations, which may otherwise be avoided as too uncomfortable, in order to generate action-focussed, meaningful and tailored outcomes, driven by the people they matter to.
Supported by our Race Equality Network, Safe Space will help you achieve facilitated meaningful dialogue between ethnic minority employees and their senior leaders and/or board members, whom must be willing to make a commitment and take action to address some of the key issues raised.
THE CASE FOR SAFE SPACE
Through over 70 in-depth interviews with a wide range of companies, race networks, experts in the field of race equality, employees, and allies and a further 150 race related conversations, Race Equality Matters conducted research to identify the barriers and solutions to race inequality in the workplace.
It was clear from the feedback that:
- Ethnic minority employees typically have little or no voice in an organisation.
- Senior leaders and Board members typically overlook or ignore race as an issue to take action on.
The Silent voice
It was also clear that whilst race networks are fantastic for support and the wellbeing of ethnic minority colleagues, they tend to have little power or influence within their organisation. Hence from our research the majority of race network leads and experts believe that generally networks have no real means available in creating change in the workplace.
Safe Space was developed in direct response to this feedback, offering a way to enable race networks to drive meaningful action for race equality across organisations nationally.
Recent months have seen intense global focus on race equality. Much has been said and promised, but what change has really happened. Now is the time to turn conversation into action.
Really Listening to that Voice
The principle behind Safe Space is to create the environment required to enable a meaningful and purposeful dialogue between board members and ethnic minority employees. With a focus on creating meaningful change.
It is accepted the only way for change to happen is to not just hear but really listen to what people are saying and be willing to get uncomfortable.
Safe Space creates the right environment for this and ensures an organisation moves from just talk to action!
What Safe Space Is
It is a 2-hour facilitated dialogue between 3-5 board members and up to 10 ethnic minority colleagues. The model is split into 3 distinct parts Safe Space enables you to:
Board members ask ethnic minority colleagues questions they may not feel comfortable to ask publicly, for fear of sounding ignorant or could be considered racist.
Ethnic minority colleagues raise key race equality issues specific to their organisation to discuss with board members, which they believe if addressed will make a meaningful impact.
The Board decides which issue(s) to take action on and develops action plans in partnership with ethnic minority colleagues, setting targets and committing to monitor progress.
Research respondents were asked what they thought would stop or prevent action from being taken. Here’s what they said and how Safe Space counteracts the obstacles to change:
|Factors preventing change||How Safe Space addresses these factors|
|Lack of/Inconsistent senior leadership support for race||Safe Space requires board members’ commitment and participation throughout|
|Ethnic minority colleagues’ voices are not heard or a small unrepresentative number of voices are heard||Safe Space creates an environment in which representative voices are both heard and listened to|
|Action won’t be taken on concerns and issues we raise||Safe Space connects those with the power to make change happen with those who can identify issues to be addressed|
|There will be negative consequences for those who speak out||Safe Space is all about senior leaders’ assurance that there will be no negative consequences for participants. Indeed, there contribution is greatly valued|
|Ethnic minority staff are not involved in next steps; hence momentum and direction get lost||Safe Space requires the involvement of ethnic minority staff in next steps|
Why your organisation should take part
Here are just some of the reasons why your organisation should participate:
- It is good for business; it is good for your employees and it is good for society
- Take positive action to demonstrate your organisation is serious about race
- Unite with organisations nationally to demonstrate that corporate UK is serious about race equality
- Kick-start and maintain the momentum of your race equality agenda
- Pioneer action on race equality
- Attract and retain talent through your visible and real commitment to race equality and inclusion
- Demonstrate commitment to race through more than just words and understand the importance of being uncomfortable to create change
- Stand out to existing and potential clients by proactively leading change
- Turbo-charge your inclusive culture to positively impact performance and your bottom line
- The business case is clear that equal, diverse, and inclusive workplaces can positively impact on performance, profitability, recruitment, retention, and talent development