Black Inclusion Week May 8th to 14th

    Black Inclusion Week May 8th to 14th

    For the third year in succession the more progressive employers, business owners and board members in our society are embracing Black Inclusion Week, which runs from Monday 8th May to Sunday 14th.

    The week was launched by a group called Black Leaders, a community of black professionals and allies who want to make positive and lasting change, and here at HDN we stand with them as we work to promote opportunity and inclusion for all under-represented groups in the boardrooms of the housing sector. The week aims to amplify the voices and achievements of black people, raising awareness through education and increase participation across all sectors.

    And this really matters. According to the Racism at Work in the UK (2021) report, black people are the most likely group to have experienced racism on the job, with as many as 40 per cent of black and minority workers in the UK suffering racism in the office or on the shop floor. To promote, nurture and protect talent of every race it’s vital for organisations and employers to directly address anti-black racism and create positive work environments for all.

    The week’s stated aims are to encourage people to connect through collaboration, make us stronger as a community and create a commitment towards change; and the theme for 2023 is #It’sEveryonesBusiness a theme chosen by 79 per cent of respondents.

    As always, creating totally inclusive workplaces continues to be a huge challenge and we know that fighting against racial inequalities is a battle that will go on. A recent Race Equality Matters survey revealed that a majority of workers felt very little impact has been made over the past 12 months; but there is help available and practical steps we can all take.

    One such resource is the Race Equality Matters Five Day Challenge, a scheme adopted recently by our friends at Transform Housing in Surrey, which they picked up during Race Equality Week in February. There is more to come from Transform in due course but, in the meantime, why not take a look.

    The Challenge is presented in bite-sized chunks with five sessions to be done over five days; they can be done in one week or once a week, or whichever frequency suits your organisation or department. It can be done at any level in your organisation and is designed to help you improve on your awareness of the problems experienced by employees who feel excluded, and will ultimately help you to develop a totally fair environment and have equality embedded in your DNA.

    There are five different activities which you can download as a PDF to distribute, with practical and thought provoking sessions, including the importance of pronouncing names correctly, and the drip, drip, drip effect of unintended micro-aggressions. Small changes can make a real difference to how people feel and how much they enjoy coming to work; and the challenge will help you to understand how it feels to be in somebody else’s shoes.

    And then there is HDN’s very own Board Training Programme which is designed to find, recruit and nurture talent to ensure the housing sector boardrooms more accurately represent the tenants they serve. Some 40 per cent of black people in the UK are in social housing and this week we must ask ourselves why so few are embraced at board level.

    Let’s keep working at it.

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