If not now, when?
Updated: Jul 24
The tragic death of George Floyd in the USA on 25 May has had a profound impact, producing shock, fear, anger and frustration around the globe.
While racial injustice is nothing new, Mr Floyd’s death in police custody has caused us all to look harder and more urgently at what we can do to make our communities fairer.
As established communities, businesses are well-positioned to play an effective role in dismantling systemic injustice by making our organisations more inclusive and diverse, and by working together to eliminate bias in all its forms.
The reality is that all of us regularly see both conscious and unconscious bias around us. We know that reflecting our communities’ diversity is not only right and fair, but also makes sense: diverse teams make better decisions. And, here at Castleoak we are very aware that we are far from being as representative of our richly diverse communities as we want to be.
While we have been working on how to achieve real diversity and inclusion, we haven’t acted or focused soon enough. We have to be better and now is the time. We don’t have all the answers but we now have plans in place to seek them out together and create a thoroughly inclusive and diverse workplace.
If this terrible event is to serve any positive purpose at all, it is to create urgency. To create the moment in time when we begin to make our organisations fairer and more representative in all ways, and to eliminate discrimination, whether on the basis of race, nationality, age, religion, gender, sexuality or social background. And to honestly consider and confront our own biases, conscious or unconscious.
Many businesses are doing the same following their horror at the death of Mr Floyd and all that it represented. If we can turn that shared horror into a moment in time when we all begin to dismantle systemic inequality within our business communities together, then we will have the critical mass necessary to begin genuine, positive change with the workplace.
If not now, when?
Paul Foster Chair