A message from our CEO

Racism – A commitment to action and change

It’s been over a month since the death of George Floyd which has seen the growing global strength of the Black Lives Matter movement. Yet racism in our society has always been prevalent and it’s important that we all think about why that is and what we’re actively doing to change it.

The CIPD has a clear part to play in addressing racism and we know now that we need to do more. While we’ve made progress on the diversity and inclusion agenda more broadly, we need to focus our efforts and actions on ending racism in workplaces.

To effect real change, we need to ensure we’re truly inclusive in everything we do. There is no place for racism in the workplace.

CIPD CEO, Peter Cheese, said:

'There is no getting away from the lack of progress in addressing racism in all its myriad guises. These are deep and systemic issues in society, but also exist in workplaces and organisations, and sadly in more ways than many of us have understood.

'It has been a wakeup call for us all. For me personally it has been a time of significant reflection. As a white person, I can’t live the experience of a black or ethnic minority person, and despite having heard many personal stories, it isn’t what confronts me in my daily life, in my everyday decisions or in how I am treated. That is the truth of white privilege.

'We must talk openly about race and racism within our organisations, and what it feels like to be part of a minority. The last few weeks have not only highlighted challenges but how much was not being said, and how many people are suffering in silence. Often that is because they don’t feel the psychological safety to be able to speak up, or they have spoken up before but nothing has changed.

'The first thing is to commit to action and change but based on a real understanding of the issues and with some clear and achievable goals. Platitudes won’t cut it. It’s not just making statements that we are against racism, but what are we prepared to commit to in order to change things.'

Read Peter Cheese’s full blog on what the CIPD will do to end racism in workplaces and find out more about the CIPD’s plans to improve internal practices and commitments to supporting the profession.

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