Let's Get Serious
Hello BYP Members,
It's been a busy period for BYP (when is it not?) and in case you didn't get the clue from our subject line, we're getting serious this week.
I attended the CBI Conference this week - the UK's highest profile business conference. I met business leaders and listened to the UK's political leaders, including Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson, speak on everything from business and politics to economics, and what the future brings for all these matters. The conference was heavily focused on diversity and inclusion (although this wasn't the theme for this year's event), yet when it came to what this meant, there was a lot to be left to the imagination.
The CEO of Microsoft declared that her organisation was diverse... when it came to the staff on the shop floor. The CEO of BBC Studios, Tim Davie mentioned, when asked about attracting ethnically diverse talent, that social mobility was also important. He offered no solutions about how to solve the issue and ignored the intersection.
To me, these discussions show just why BYP is so necessary in 2019. We need to work out how we solve these problems. Recognition isn't enough. The comments from the CEO of Microsoft really hit home with me, personally. My first job was at John Lewis and I noticed from early on that most of the sales assistant were black, yet we were constantly serving people who didn't look like us. Ten years on, it's tiring to hear CEOs talking about diversity on the shop floor - hasn't the system changed?
The conference itself had me thinking about how companies preach diversity yet fail to practice. The tickets to attend this event cost £700, so it's rarely a surprise that the attendees weren't diverse themselves. Listening to leaders such as Boris Johnson suspending tax cuts for corporate businesses, increasing stop + search laws and making it quicker for police to prosecute anyone carrying a knife also shows how out of touch our governmental powers are. There was no talk about prevention or any real comments on how to improve issues that arise in our community.
This is why we need to continue on this mission. We need grassroots organisations and individuals who aren't so far removed from the communities they represent. We're all about connecting black professionals so we CAN go back to schools, youth and other groups to change the narrative. Brexit aside, let's start focusing on the policies affecting us the most. It's time to get serious about our futures. Your voice matters so don't forget to register to vote.
Don't sleep on justice,
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