This week (1-7 February 2021) is the very first Race Equality Week, a UK-wide initiative to unite organisations and individuals in activity to address issues affecting ethnic minority employees.
Race Equality Week is a reminder that we all need to take accountability for racial equality, by:
We caught up with Howard Forster, Chief Operating Officer, about what this week has meant for Cadent and how we're meeting the challenge in our day-to-day actions.
- Joining in a visible movement of support with colleagues and communities
- Creating safe spaces to guide conversation into action
- Making a commitment to action, not just words
Over the last year, it’s been fantastic to see diversity and inclusion woven into our operation. This has been down to the great work our colleagues drive and the partnerships we’ve formed – whether that be through our apprentices, EmployAbility programme, celebrating Black History Month or talking honestly about inclusion and how we can create that safe culture we all feel part of through our Employee Communities.
To truly respond to our customers’ needs, it’s vital that our workforce reflects the communities we serve, the communities we belong to, and that means achieving diversity and creating an inclusive environment at all levels of our organisation. Enabling our colleagues to bring their whole self to work and giving them equal opportunities to contribute is something we see as critical to our ongoing success.
This year’s Race Equality Week is the first of its kind, and it’s something I’m really proud to talk about at Cadent. Racial equality is so important in our society today and equally within our workplaces.
Each step we take makes a difference
The theme of Race Equality Week – which really resonates with me and the Cadent leadership team – is No Words Without Action. We’re taking action at all levels of our organisation, including:
- Signing the Race at Work Charter through Business in the Community as a visible commitment to driving diversity and inclusion
- Ensuring fairness in recruitment and in opportunity to develop and progress
- Exploring the difference we can make through nurturing diverse partnerships in our communities – including reaching younger generations in traditionally underrepresented groups
Building a diverse team that represents the communities and customers we serve is a commitment that the whole Cadent Executive team is fully behind. It’s only by doing this that we will benefit from the diverse ideas, empathy and practices that will enable us to deliver truly exceptional levels of customer service.
Whether it's by having honest conversations with colleagues about the changes we can make, opening the door to learn about people's different cultures and experiences, or putting on live interactive 'Lunch & Learn' events for employees, we're committed to giving everyone in our organisation the opportunity to take part and have their own impact on the environment we create.