The last couple of weeks have seen us face some of the most unfathomable, unacceptable and tragic events in recent times. As a business leader or HR practitioner it may be worth considering some of the things that your employees have been ruminating over, along with the associated impacts on those employees:
Meghan Markle’s interview where she disclosed her struggles with mental health and racism and how this led to thoughts of suicide, not to mention the media backlash from this that reinforced the adverse impacts of white privilege and racial gaslighting
The tragic murder of Sarah Everard and the assertions that followed suggesting that curfews be placed on men
The Westminster government’s bumbling and obfuscating response for calls to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ people in the UK
The misogynistic public and political battering of Nicola Sturgeon following a court case and investigation involving Alex Salmond where a jury only returned a not proven verdict on a charge of sexual assault with intent to rape
The terrifying increase in anti-Asian rhetoric and hate-crime in the USA that has led to the murder of 8 people, and to psychological and physical injury to so many more
The planned legislation which will see people who seek refuge in the UK being sent off to ‘processing centres’ overseas
The passing of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in England and Wales which will criminalise the living situations of many people from Roma, Gypsy and Traveller communities
The revelations around institutional racism at the highest levels within the Pride in London organising team
The ongoing fears and frustrations about Covid19 and the restrictions we are struggling to contend with.
The list could go on and on!
What actions are you going to take to support your employees who are exhausted by all of this? As an employer you have a duty of care to your employees, and accordingly if you truly believe in inclusion, then you’ll provide a reassuring and safe space for everyone to process what’s going on. Your employees may need to ‘take a minute’, especially if they personally/closely identify with any of these human rights and social justice issues.
Now is the time to demonstrate truly inclusive leadership.
Now is the time to ensure psychological safety and trust.
Now is the time to live up to that diversity and inclusion statement on your website.
- Tony McCaffery, Founder of Diversity Scotland