Black Lives Matter
There is no debate about racism. It knows no boundaries, and it is present in every country, society and workplace, including our own. We are not currently delivering fully on our purpose, because we are not enabling better outcomes for so many of our Black colleagues, and we do not have enough ethnic diversity in our workforce, especially at senior levels. We need to do better.
The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement acts as a much-welcome catalyst to accelerate the pace of change that is needed to create a truly inclusive, responsible and purpose-led business – something which our Executive Committee and Board are committed to. Creating an inclusive organisation is integral to our purpose to create better outcomes for all, and we have made some progress – but this progress has not been fast enough, and we are not yet happy with where we are.
We’re taking a stand
The Black Lives Matter movement has started many conversations within Capita about what we can do as individuals and as a business to effect change. We know that making a statement on social media is not enough and that’s why we will speak up and stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, clients, suppliers and wider community. We recently signed an open letter to corporate Britain alongside other leaders to keep the conversation live and make sure the business community continues to challenge itself to do better. We will continue to stand up against racism and social injustice and will report the actions we are taking in our annual reports.
Across Capita, we’ve been listening and having conversations with our colleagues about race, systemic racism and discrimination – and not a moment too soon. These conversations are emotional and at times uncomfortable – but they are crucial for us to understand and learn so that we can take the right action to create the change we need. This is not about creating new targets and processes (although these have a role to play), this is about supporting a significant cultural shift within our organisation by changing behaviours. We can only do this if we all have the same understanding of the issues we are tackling, and a shared commitment to listen and learn.
The themes that are emerging from our sessions focus on fostering a more open culture where colleagues are empowered to speak up; the lack of diversity at senior leadership level; understanding that racism is not confined to any one country or group and is experienced differently by different ethnic groups and communities; exploring how racism intersects with other types of discrimination and disadvantage; and a rallying cry for action.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue to listen to our colleagues and together we will decide on the actions we will take to achieve change.
We know that in order to address racism, the culture of an organisation must change and that requires the behaviours of all those working for and with the organisation to change. At Capita, we know that sometimes the values and behaviours that we hold so dear to us are not always held consistently throughout our business and the actions we are taking to create an inclusive workplace need to progress more quickly. We will therefore accelerate those actions which we know, from listening to and working with our colleagues, will have the biggest impact.
We know that getting this right will take time, but in the meantime, we are clear that we do not tolerate racism, extremism or prejudice.