Celebrating black history to help end injustice and build a better future

Black History Month provides us all a time to celebrate the contribution of black people, reflect on recent events, and look to build a better, more diverse future. 

I am proud to lead an organisation that is diverse across the spectrum of characteristics, and that includes race. During the pandemic, despite mainly working remotely, we’ve done what we can to stay connected as a workforce. We’ve held a number of online discussions about anti-racism and fighting all forms of injustice. This has given us a chance to speak with colleagues and learn about not only their work – but their weekends, their lives, their cultures too.  

This year, we have seen, very sadly, the world slip back in its fight to eradicate injustice. The rise of Anti-Semitism, gender inequality, and then the world was shaken by the tragic events of George Floyd’s death. These events caused me, and many others, to take a deeper look at racism and question why such issues are not a thing of the past. I like many of you watch with a growing sense of sadness as events unfold in America. A proud nation which holds freedom so close to its heart, who elected a Black president and yet has so much unrest and inequality that it overflows into armed vigilantes. 

Through open forum conversations, discussions with others across our network, and candid conversations with Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnicity (BAME) colleagues at the DCC, I have learnt a lot. I reflected on one of our calls about my experience as a Scottish man, and how I would feel if I was treated in some of the ways our Black and BAME colleagues shared, just because I was Scottish. It was a sobering reminder of how hurt, angry, and frustrated I would be. Whilst I don’t ever believe I have been racist, I now question if I could have done more to eradicate intolerance.

My father served during the second world war with the RAF as a Navigator and would often muse that the aircrew came from all over the world to fight fascism and would fly as one. (Caribbean, Indian, etc.) There was no racism; in the air, we all had one cause. 

Remember: the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.Racism is evil so we must all have a role to play to address injustice. That’s our cause. 

As a business, we were involved in, and sign up unequivocally to the commitments launched by our Shareholder (Capita): 

  1. Ensure an inclusive culture with zero tolerance to racism
  2. Have a sustainable representation of ethnic diversity, that reflects the communities we operate in, in all levels of the workplace
  3. Educate and raise awareness of racism in the workplace and through the power of our networks.

We have developed our own set of targeted actions, which received approval from our colleague Diversity and Inclusion Group. These are being implemented as we move forward. We won’t let this just be a moment in time, but something that we stay committed to for the long-term.

We will be using Black History Month as a time to celebrate and reflect on the contribution of Black people to our society and sharing some of the things our people get up to. 

Angus Flett, CEO