Tackling Systemic Racism — The Truth We Don’t Want To Admit

WOULD YOU ASK A CARDIOLOGIST TO FIX YOUR BROKEN FOOT?

Unless you had no other choice, I’m guessing that your answer will be ‘no’.

So why the random question?

Recently I have had many conversations about addressing systemic racism and how organisations are choosing whom to approach for help on their issues. In the past couple of months, there has been a rush to engage with all sorts of anti-racist or DEI practitioners, which is a positive thing.

One thing that many organisations seem not to realise is that DEI practitioners are not too dissimilar from doctors. We have different skills and experiences to help us do what we do. Like doctors, we can tackle generic issues, but we are also most useful in our areas of expertise whether that be in a particular industry, a specific process, or a particular skill that we have. That is where you will get the best from us.

Sometimes our lived experience is crucial to finding solutions because we understand the things that are only felt or said when no-one is looking. Other times our professional experience gives us the knowledge to guide our strategy. Some of us use a mixture of both experiences as they are both valuable on the journey towards change.

By now we are all aware that systemic racism or inequality of any kind is complex and will take a while to change. What we haven’t come to terms with, is that different methods will be needed at different stages. Realistically, different people will be needed to make those lasting changes.

Is your organisation ready to do what it takes for change to happen?