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CIPD anti-racism support/materials to use at work - what do you need?

UPDATE: https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/tackling-racism-workplace

I know that this week has been incredibly difficult for many of you and you will be looking to us, at the CIPD, for advice and guidance. I'm also acutely aware that this isn't just about this week.

We have put together a set of four principles to help support you through addressing evident and deep rooted challenges and we will be expanding on them soon; we would welcome comments and input on them. If you don't think we have done enough then help us understand what you need and what would be helpful.

To be clear - because sometimes it helps to name things - this isn't about general inclusion, although some lessons will be common, but this is specifically about racism and the damage it does. 

We will also be sharing some really honest discussions with people over the coming weeks where they talk about their experiences and what needs to change, but in the meantime we want to hear from you:

  • Let us know what you need from us that would support you and your people.
  • This will help shape our work to make the biggest difference to you and the organisations that you work in or with.
  • We look forward to hearing from you; we are listening.
  • I'd also like to re-share the details of our Wellbeing Support for members for any of you that would benefit.

I know that some people felt we weren't fast enough in responding to current events - we took some time to speak to our people internally to see how they were and what they felt we should say - but I want you to know that we are committed to building something rapidly and then sustaining that momentum over time.

We are trying to find ways to drive positive change together, so please ensure that the conversations here are clear and honest. I've asked that members of the CIPD team step into the conversations where possible to add their thoughts and also to listen. 

24551 views
  • It would be useful to have suggestions on reaching a more diverse candidate pool. As a charity we are restrained by using free platforms such as Indeed. Thank you.
  • Thanks for your email Peter, all I would like to contribute is:

    "As we all come together, we shift the world to a what should have been direction of balanced equality for us all as humanity."
    -Prince Onwuka-

    #blacklivesmatter #alllivesmatter
  • Legal support to cipd members pursuing racial discrimination claims against their employers/ex-employers.
  • Thanks for this David. I think it would be useful to build on the four principles (which may already well be expressed in some way in various staff policies). They feel a bit safe and not very specific. "What can I do to be an activist in my company "would be a question that we must all be asking - and many will have been asking. I think something concrete and specific would be valuable. For example; how to facilitate a safe environment for black colleagues to be heard. All of my friends and colleagues who are not white, all of them, have experienced racial slurs, abuse, micro aggressions over time. They have supressed it. Somehow, this has released that and there is a lot of pain. There may be more noticing of how hiearchies are lacking representation, and this may build fear and anxiety. Good listening means we are open to changing our perspective. I think it could be useful to provide very specific short bite sized educational pieces on white privilege as this notion is alien to many. Creating psychologically safe places for all employees at this time is critical. Offering some practical guidance at this time I think would really make a difference. I include in this; what are some good challenges? I was a bit flumoxxed for words yesterday when someone enraged me by denial of racial inequality. I ended up shouting a bit and was clumsy although successful I think in getting my point across! I have much to learn, and - as I have said; I'm keen to progress this and happy to get involved.
  • In reply to Megan Peppin:

    Thanks Meg. Absolutely plan to build them out. What the principle is, what the component activity would be and then what resources are available to address it. I think and like the idea that sound of those resources will be questions rather than solutions.
  • In reply to Samantha Wainwright:

    Thanks for your feedback Samantha and we will feed your suggestion into our support plans.
  • In reply to Dee:

    Thanks for your feedback Dee. In the meantime I just wanted to flag the CIPD legal helpline and resources: www.cipd.co.uk/.../employment-law-resources.
  • In reply to David D'Souza:

    @DavidDeSouza I have been in HR/CIPD for 3 I have been in HR/CIPD for 3 decades and seen CIPD fail to take steps to address #HRSoWhite and listen to lived experiences of the few #BAME who work in this profession. CIPD only belatedly last few years in its 100+ history held a few events centrally on ‘let’s talk about race’ but nothing is rolled out at grass roots level where working lives are impacted by the reinforcing dynamic of HRSoWhite advising #LeadershipSoWhite to negatively impact black lives which is why I got into HR to do my part to minimise this damage in the face of #WhiteFragility that resists change covertly in many ways.

    A further example of CIPD’s complicity with #InstitutionalRacism was the abysmal low level of resources it put behind the consultation on #EthnicityPayGap - belatedly only consulting 0.01% of its membership without opening up the conversation on the causes namely #whiteSupremacy ideology that fuels racism #WhitePrivilege.The government then kicked the matter of Ethnicity pay gap legislation into the long grass did not publish the results or action plan - all done with complicit silence whilst CIPD publicly presented its consultation exercise as a major achievement #gaslighting #BAME as always that these issues are a figment of our minds. decades and seen CIPD fail to take steps to address #HRSoWhite and listen to lived experiences of the few #BAME who work in this profession. CIPD only belatedly last few years in its 100+ history held a few events centrally on ‘let’s talk about race’ but nothing is rolled out at grass roots level where working lives are impacted by the reinforcing dynamic of HRSoWhite advising #LeadershipSoWhite to negatively impact black lives which is why I got into HR to do my part to minimise this damage in the face of #WhiteFragility that resists change covertly in many ways.

    A further example of CIPD’s complicity with #InstitutionalRacism was the abysmal low level of resources it put behind the consultation on #EthnicityPayGap - belatedly only consulting 0.01% of its membership without opening up the conversation on the causes namely #whiteSupremacy ideology that fuels racism #WhitePrivilege.The government then kicked the matter of Ethnicity pay gap legislation into the long grass did not publish the results or action plan - all done with complicit silence whilst CIPD publicly presented its consultation exercise as a major achievement #gaslighting #BAME as always that these issues are a figment of our minds. CIPD words are cheap. It’s leadership needs to look to itself then the whiter HR profession to accept its place in #InstitutionalRacism to stand a hope of dismantling it and what this means for perceived loss of #WhitePrivilege. CIPD syllabus does not even include any element on building racial literacy & resilience for HR people to talk about racism nor effective Resources behind its Code of Conduct/Disciplinary procedures otherwise it would be flooded with complaints from #BAME workers. This is the simmering pot that has been ignored due to lack of proximity to lived experience whilst Close proximity to power & policy making that disadvantages BAME communities. We need an honest conversations everyday with people who have worked on themselves first so they can be effective allies not spin doctors. Vast majority of HR will remain comfortably silent on this topic and do little to bring about measurable change. They fail to see there is violence in their silence.
  • Hi David, thanks for this. Could I email you my views, if so, is there (even a generic) email address you could direct me to? I am a BAME HR manager and have some thoughts on this I'd like to share with you directly, if that's ok. Thanks
  • In reply to Sam:

    Hi Chris, I've dropped you a note. Thanks, David
  • In reply to Safia:

    Hi Safia thank you for your comments – I agree member consultation and engagement is extremely important. CIPD does use widescale member engagement on some public policy issues, using, for example, surveys to collect member views at scale and understand organisations’ practices, however on more complex issues like ethnicity pay gap reporting we rely much more on smaller-scale qualitative engagement with individuals with particular experience and understanding of the issues. Other recent consultations where we have used this approach include consultations on migration policy, employment status and sexual harassment.

    The ethnicity pay gap reporting consultation was one of the widest consultations of CIPD members as part of a government consultation response over the past few years. We convened six round table discussions across the country to gather qualitative responses - two in London using the CIPD Policy Forum, as well as in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Leicester and Manchester using members from our branch network.

    Overall these brought together more than 60 CIPD members and HR practitioners to dig into the detail of the consultation and explore the issue in depth and ensure that we had a detailed and well informed discussion with a diverse group of senior-level members. Officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) attended one of our focus groups and provided positive feedback on the quality of the insights and discussion. In addition we also ran a survey of HR practitioners and consultants to inform our response which attracted 243 responses which we promoted on our social media channels and e-update.

    Previously we had also worked with the Cabinet Office to provide feedback when they were putting together the data for the ethnicity-facts-figures website as part of the previous government's Race Disparity Audit.

    Looking ahead, CIPD will be publishing further research on the issue of ethnicity pay gap reporting based on data from both employers and employees from an ethnic minority background to provide more insight on the issues that need to be taken account of in using ethnicity pay gap data to drive change and to raise the profile of the issue and try and ensure Government moves forward with plans to introduce legislation in this area.

    Ben Willmott
    CIPD Head of Public Policy
  • In reply to Safia:

    Hi CIPD community,

    Thank you David D'Souza and Safia for what you both have written, typed below is my real life experience of what I call 'disguised' discrimination.
    I have had (and still receive) my fair share of 'disguised' discrimination in my walk of life, it has even boiled down to the very human resources job applications that I construct (as I never seem to get a reply or feedback as to why I have not been progressed to the next stage), I strategically construct my cover letter/s to standards the employers/recruiters are looking for, my application answers are of a balanced professional quality and my CV has been designed to HR industry level. Not sure if my surname (which is of an African heritage (Onwuka), and I am a full British citizen) or skin colour (which is black, and they view my profile on LinkedIn (and I know this because the companies I apply for, LinkedIn allows me to see the brand/logo) is what repels my application from being directed closer to my dream of being a HR professional.
    I even remember an interview I went on, and the white manager (blatantly in front of my face) said to me that I would not be a good 'culture fit' for the business, I knew exactly what she meant, so I said to her thank you, and left the interview, I am not prejudice, (as I have white people in my family, whom I love and adore), but what she said was really derogatory and incompetent.
    I agree with Safia (and thank you for writing this Safia), where she said "...of the few #BAME who work in this profession..."; their are a few BAME who do work in this industry, and I do not know if the HR industry wants to keep it like that (as for the past few years, I cannot seem to break into the industry or get my foot in the door).
    I am very passionate about anything HR I get my hands on, as I am very knowledgeable about the industry (as I have passed my CIPD L3 in September 2019, and I am currently halfway to graduating to CIPD L5 (by September 2020)), as I have so much to offer and grow the HR industry (but nobody is giving me a chance to develop/evolve with a business). I am funding my course, educating myself, grabbing every hr experience I can get to break into the human resource industry, but I feel that I am being discreetly discriminated against (as you can see from my upper experience).
    It does get frustrating (to be honest) to do all that society instructs you to do, and get nothing at the end of it, but my parents have always taught me never to give up on your dream, as one day someone will give you a key to open that door that leads to your desire.
    I know that whosoever reads this, can feel and sense my hurt.
    But as David D'Souza said "...sharing some really honest discussions with people over the coming weeks where they talk about their experiences...", this is my experience of what I currently am experiencing.
    And thank you David for this platform to express my voice.
  • In reply to Prince:

    I really appreciate you speaking openly, honestly and early. I can't do this for everyone, but if you would like a chat I'd happily give you any advice I can - and listen too. Let me know if you would like to take me up on it. The offer is genuinely there - as is the respect for you sharing.
  • In reply to David D'Souza:

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the concern and care, yes, I would welcome any advice or guidance that you can give to me (to hopefully break into the hr industry), how best can I contact you please?
  • In reply to Prince:

    I'll drop you my email