Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Workforce Champion cements ICS commitment to fairness
The ICS commitment to target areas requiring improvement from a race equality perspective has been formalised with the appointment of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Workforce Champion. Carol Cooper, Head of Equality and Diversity at Birmingham Community Health Care, has taken on the role and will spearhead much of the work to improve fairness, equity and access for all across the system.
Inclusion work moves forward at pace
Work to target areas requiring improvement from a race equality perspective is progressing at speed. In addition to the appointment of an ED&I Workforce Champion, work is underway with the BSol Equality and Diversity Leads across all our organisations to inform an ED&I strategy for BSol. The strategy will outline objectives and initiatives that delivers both the regional ED&I Strategy and 6 ‘High Impact Actions’, and propel the ambition for BSol to address the current system-wide workforce inequalities.
One key are of focus is to improve performance against two of the WRES indicators across the disproportionately-high BAME disciplinary rates and poor shortlisting and recruitment outcomes.
To facilitate this effort, a system-wide Cultural Competency Development Programme will be rolled out at scale across the whole of workforce, The programme will incorporate areas of learning and support highlighted by wide range of health and care staff. The programme is currently being commissioned and is anticipated to begin in the autumn.
Details of Staff Networks
An ally is someone who is not part of a marginalized group that works to support, uplift and work towards justice for that group.
There are many different ways white and non-Black people of colour can be good allies to Black people (or anyone from a marginalised group), from mobilizing their privilege to enact change, to elevating and amplifying Black voices, to stepping back and listening, rather than dominating the conversation. True allyship is about taking up issues of racism or oppression that may not directly affect yourself as your cause and doing the work to dismantle them.
Also known as performative activism, performative wokeness or “slacktivism,” performative allyship refers to signalling or showing your allyship or “good opinions,” often through social media, without doing the actual work of being an ally or activist. You’re likely familiar with it from the debates and discussions around the #Blackout trend on Instagram Tuesday. And while the intent behind this sort of action is usually good, it’s important to interrogate why you’re publicly announcing your allyship, and what goal that achieves.
Rather than simply not being racist, being anti-racist is an active state of working to make things better by dismantling racist structures, fighting oppression and working towards justice. According to the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, “Anti-racism is an active way of seeing and being in the world, in order to transform it.” It’s about working in your workplace, school, community and other areas of society to actively challenge racism.
White privilege is an often invisible force in society that dictates certain privileges, opportunities and advantages white people have compared to Black people and other people of colour in society.
It’s not the suggestion that white people have never faced difficulties or struggle, or that their accomplishments are unearned. What recognizing white privilege is is recognizing the greater access to power and opportunity often afforded to white people compared to people of colour.
Articles and reading:
White Fragility – Robin Di’Angelo
Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People about Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
This is how psychologist Derald W. Sue, who’s written two books on microaggressions, defines the term: “The everyday slights, indignities, put downs and insults that people of color, women, LGBT populations or those who are marginalized experiences in their day-to-day interactions with people.”
Microaggressions often might seem like a compliment or a joke but contain hidden insults, in this context based on someone’s identity. So, when someone says, “You don’t look gay,” or “You’re smarter than I expected,” or “Your English is really good,” that’s a microaggression.
They continue as a way of covertly reinforcing racism in our day-to-day systems and society. Harvard professor Chester M. Pierce coined the term in the 1970s, specifically in the context of interactions between white and Black people.
Stereotyping and Prejudice
The definition of a stereotype is any commonly known public belief about a certain social group or a type of individual. Stereotypes are often confused with prejudices, because, like prejudices, a stereotype is based on a prior assumption. Stereotypes are often created about people of specific cultures or races.
Almost every culture or race has a stereotype.
Stereotypes are not just centered on different races and backgrounds, however. Gender stereotypes also exist. For example, if you say that men are better than women, you’re stereotyping all men and all women. If you say that all women like to cook, you are stereotyping women.
Sexual orientation stereotypes are also common. These stereotypes occur when you have negative views on LGBTQ+ individuals. People who have these negative views are often known as homophobic.
Bias is widely defined as a prejudice against one group or in favour of another in a way that’s usually considered unfair. Unconscious bias is when favouring is done unconsciously or is built into our structures of society. We might have unfavourable opinions or judgements on specific groups of people without even realizing it, and those biases can inform our actions.
Systemic Racism / Institutional Racism
“Systemic racism,” or “institutional racism,” refers to how racist ideas are built into the very systems of how our society operates. This can include everything from laws to hiring practices to our education systems. Our courts system and the media can disproportionally disadvantage people of colour.
For example, studies have shown Black people are more likely to be hired if they “white-ify” their names on their resumes. That’s systemic racism at work.
Read about Stephen Lawrence and the Macpherson Report