Black Lives Do Matter, Accountancy is No Exception
The world has been on pause for three months due to the Covid-19 crisis. Stillness, silence and safety. But now a far bigger plague threatens humanity, and recent events have moved us to take to the streets, speak out and take action.
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25th May, there has been a well overdue global uprising. People worldwide are protesting, marching and demanding justice for Mr Floyd and calling for an end to police brutality against black people and the wider BAME group.
Our MD Garry Howling is proud to speak up about this topic, one which lies close to his heart and that he regularly researches….
‘Accountancy Age revealed in a survey of the top 50/50 firms, that diversity is still lacking, particularly at leadership level. So, to any employer reading this, creating a culture that celebrates diversity should be your priority.’
We are all horrified and disgusted by the footage we have seen. Moved to tears. But what will you do about it? Even if you are unable to attend protests or are not in a position to donate, there is so much you CAN do.
We are all part of the problem and the solution. It’s no longer enough to say “I am not a racist”. It’s not enough to feel angered by documentaries and do nothing. It’s not enough to read this article and forget about it.
Here is how you can take action and be part of the solution …
Support diversity within the accounting profession
Like most other professions, traditional beliefs about relationship building and the ability to work long hours have supported the career progression of white males in the UK. And while our industry is responding to the diversity agenda, the overall picture remains unbalanced. Even with The Equality Act 2010 and the overwhelming business case for a diverse workforce, not all UK firms understand and encourage diversity initiatives.
As a manager or business owner, if this is something you have been guilty of until now, you have a legal and moral duty to put this right. Here’s how:
- Implement training on your legal responsibilities within the workplace and the negative consequences of discrimination.
- Create and promote a zero tolerance policy towards racism and any form of discrimination.
- Ensure diversity and tackle ethnic bias within the recruitment, interview and promotion process by reaching out to a more diverse pool of applicants and having an external panel of individuals by whom decision making can be checked to ensure no underlying bias has accidentally slipped in (a diversity board perhaps!)
- Review your reporting process and put systems in place to support staff affected by discrimination.
Good diversity management is essential for the accountancy profession, and knowledge and expertise must come from a senior level. If you want to develop your personal understanding, please take a look at our recommendations for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Speak out – If you’ve been a victim of a hate crime yourself, or want to volunteer to help people who have, SARI – Stand Against Racism & Equality, provides free and confidential help throughout the local authority areas of Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and Somerset.
Join the others – Join the anti-racist global movement at Black Lives Matter, where you can donate, educate yourself, buy merchandise and be up to date with the latest resources and ways you can help.
“We’ve read reports that one in three adults have experienced or witnessed racism at work. And this isn’t just a generation thing. 42% of those were millennial employees. This is a worrying picture of discrimination at work.
Racism in the workplace is unacceptable and unlawful and my company is 100% committed to anti-racism.”
Garry Howling, Public Practice Recruitment Ltd
If you want to partner with a professional recruitment company to help with your diversity recruitment strategy in 2020, please get in touch today.
When it comes to all aspects of the accountant recruitment process, we’re the experts – always here to help.
Call 0333 577 7787.