Major UK business leaders have joined the pledge If Not Now, When?, which demands action now for #blacklivesmatter with agreed actions for clear and positive change.
Alongside over 70 business leaders who have already signed the Open Letter for action, the latest additions to the pledge are leaders from organisations including BP, Tesco, StarlingBank, TimeOutGroup, Talk Talk, Greene King, Kier Group and Discovery UK.
The If Not Now When? Campaign is instigated by diversity and inclusion in business campaigners Audeliss and INvolve, led by Suki Sandhu OBE. Originally conceived as an open letter for action on Black inclusion in business, the new campaign takes the movement to the next level, working with those at the very top of UK businesses to provide a way forward in creating meaningful and long term change.
The campaign will provide leaders and their organisations with the practical help, data, knowledge, tools, and confidence to have the difficult conversations and implement the actions necessary to change the real-life experiences of Black and other ethnically diverse individuals within their organisations.
In signing, business leaders commit to reporting on the sustainable and long-term actions they are taking to address Black inclusion in the workplace. These actions, which will be documented in an annual report from signatories, include;
Diversifying the face of our organisations: Setting targets for diverse candidate slates for every position and holding recruiters accountable for presenting diverse shortlists. More specifically, setting targets on Black talent in our candidate slates.
Measuring: Investigating the specific challenges and barriers faced by Black talent in our organisations, starting to track ethnicity data and conduct focus groups or listening sessions to properly understand the experiences of our Black and minority colleagues.
Joining us on our journey of learning: Educating ourselves on the experiences ofBlack people in the workplace and in society at large.
Starting the conversation: Being vulnerable with our people. Admitting we haven’t done enough and that the work is just beginning.
Elevating Black voices: People know discrimination and racism are a lived, everyday reality now – but do they know what forms it takes every day in the workplace? We must start these conversations. We will also do more to celebrate Black leaders and talent
in our organisations and the wider business community.
Committing to specific actions: We’ve posted on our corporate Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but now we must show what our organisations look like truthfully and what more we are doing to change it.
It is time to work together to create lasting, positive change for the lack community across the world and leverage our influence as businesses to make the world a fair, equitable and safe place for Black people.
All of these signatories are calling on other business leaders to commit to reporting on the actions they have taken to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Suki Sandhu OBE, Founder & CEO of Audeliss and INvolve, said: “The call to action signalled by the Black Lives Matter movement is one that businesses can no longer ignore. Our Open Letter was a commitment for action and accountability. The If Not Now Campaign aims to ensure that these actions are taken and surpassed, and this urgent call for change in business remains a priority and goes well beyond just well-meaning promises and conversations.
“We must do more when it comes to driving Black inclusion in business. Organisations must step up and hold themselves accountable for turning well-intentioned aspirations into clear, concrete actions for change. It’s fantastic to see more and more signatories going beyond solidarity with #blacklivesmatter and committing to creating a workplace where Black and other ethnic minority individuals have an equal opportunity to thrive.”