I’m sure that like me you have been shocked by events related to unequal justice and racism in the United States over the last few days. In my conversations with friends and colleagues there’s been a range of emotions from anger and frustration to feelings of anxiety and worry.
Sadly, the events of the past week are by no means unique to the US. Racism has implications for everyone in society but many of you will be experiencing this in a way that others, myself included, can only try to understand.
Let me re-emphasise that we prioritise and value the diversity of our people and we’re committed to creating a culture where everyone feels they belong and have equal access to opportunities.
I’m proud that Tim Ryan, the Chairman of PwC US, has taken a stance and has been vocal on the issues. He is focused on leading a business campaign to fight for justice and end racism. You can see his public message on social media, which we fully support, here and there will be more news in the future about how the US firm is playing a leading role in working with other businesses to address inclusion and diversity challenges with the urgency they deserve.
In the UK we were an early signatory to the Race at Work Charter, and we are taking action with initiatives like our Colour Brave programmes because we know words are not enough. We want to encourage conversations about race in the workplace, but there is more to do and we all have to play our part. We need everyone to take responsibility for living our inclusive culture by learning, reaching out to colleagues, listening to concerns and supporting each other. We must all hold ourselves - and each other - accountable for progress. As you work with your teams and clients, please be aware of this and allow space to talk about what is happening and how you are feeling.
Last year we also shone a spotlight on our Speak Up campaign as we continue to detect problems and drive improvement. It’s up to all of us to speak up, listen up and follow up when something isn’t right. All of this helps to make the firm a better place in every respect, as we continue to build a culture of inclusion and care, where we respect each other and our differences.
We also need to take responsibility for educating ourselves and finding the best way to support each other. I’ve reached out to our Multicultural Business Network who ask that we all consider checking in with our black colleagues to acknowledge how they might be feeling. We should be asking the questions:
How are you doing?
How is this impacting you?
How can I help?
Let’s show each other that we care. If you have ideas about how we can do more to address this situation please speak with your local Colour Brave advocate or People Partner.
Take care of yourselves and each other.
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Senior Manager, media relations, PwC United Kingdom
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