13 additional business leaders sign open letter committing to actions on Black inclusion

31 July 2020

A further 13 leaders in UK business have signed Audeliss and INvolve’s open letter which backs up words of solidarity for #blacklivesmatter with agreed action for change.

The original letter was printed in The Sunday Times on 21 June 2020 signed by 28 leaders in UK business. 

They have now been joined by leaders from Viacom, Barclays, Thames Water, E.ON, AutoTrader, Alexander Mann Solutions, Budweiser Brewing Group, GBG plc, Halma plc, M&C Saatchi, Deloitte, and Equiniti.

In signing the letter, these business leaders have committed to reporting in an annual report on the sustainable and long-term actions they are taking to address Black inclusion in the workplace. 

These actions 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 of Black 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, LinkedIn, but now we must show what our organisations look like truthfully and what more we are doing to change it.

The full letter of commitment and full list of signatories can be read here.

All the new signatories are calling on other businesses to commit to reporting on the actions they have taken to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Suki Sandhu, Founder and CEO of Audeliss and INvolve, has welcomed the new commitments and is pressing for more leaders to step up and make clear commitments to address racial inequality. 

“We are delighted that more CEOs and business leaders have made these commitments to be bold and intentional in their support of racial equality in business. The call to action sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement has not gone quiet and businesses need to step up to maintain the momentum in driving change to improve Black inclusion.

“I recognise that for a lot of businesses, they do not know what to do or where to start. It is my hope that as more and more CEOs sign the letter, we can use the commitments outlined as a place to start to drive change in the workplace and monitor progress as these businesses openly report their progress year on year.”

If your business is interested in joining the list of leaders committing to clear actions then please contact us at info@involvepeople.org.