Building a more equitable business
I feel like the conversation around race and anti-racism right now has a lot of parallels with the conversation around mental health.
I don’t feel like I know what to say, what to do.
No one who hasn’t experienced mental health issues knows what to say or do.
I feel nervous of saying or doing the wrong thing.
People who haven’t struggled with their mental health are so scared of saying and/or doing the wrong thing.
In both cases that can and does lead to silence. Inaction.
Perpetuating stigma. Perpetuating unfairness.
I know that when it comes to mental health stuff, you need to be human and you need to have empathy (in fact empathy is one of my values I believe in it so much!).
And so that is the approach I am taking to building a more equitable business. A business that includes and welcomes everyone who wants to work with me.
I’m not going to share every book I read, every article I devour, every YouTube video I watch – because I’m not doing that stuff so I can tell people!
But, my business is built on honesty (another value of mine), so I want to share my action plan with you.
- I offered a Pay What You Can place the first time I ran my Eight Weeks of Space group mentoring programme, I’ve decided to make this a permanent offer
- Created a quarterly Pay What You Can place for my three-session Breathing Space package
- These places are for those who identify as being part of a marginalised group, based on the Equality Act, and would love to work together but can’t afford to right now
- You can read more about who those places are for here
- These places are clearly highlighted on my Breathing Space and Eight Weeks of Space webpage
- Started a highlight on my Instagram page called ‘Values’ and saved any Stories where I talk about where I stand on important stuff, so you always know my values and how they impact and shape my business – to help you figure out if you want to work with me!
By the end of July, I will..
- Create a ‘Values’ page on my website – within my about page
- This page will set out my values (honesty, practicality, empathy, fairness) and how I run my business in line with these values
In Autumn I plan to take Nova Reid’s Diversity in Business course to figure out what else I can do to make sure my business is inclusive, welcoming and safe for all.
- Learn! Both on a business and personal level
- Learn about the impact of racism on mental health
- Work to understand about the impact of racism on our relationship with work
- Continue to actively build my community to include more Black people and people of colour as I recognise that it is predominantly white right now
- Only work with corporates (I work with one corporate per month, max) who are taking action to be truly inclusive and equitable
- Interrogate all partnership or speaking opportunities that come my way to make sure I’m only working with others who are highlighting a diverse mix of voices
- Give up my place and recommend others where I can to increase diversity
- Make sure the people I work and collaborate with for my own services don’t all look like me
What I’ll be focusing a lot of time and energy on is understanding how race and the experience of Black people and people of colour impacts their mental health.
How their experience of racism – whether overt or micro-aggressions – impacts their relationship with work.
This is where I can learn to become a better mentor and support to Black people and people of colour.
If you’re also interested in this stuff, this article (albeit from 2007) is a good place to start.
I’m going to be seeking out research, experiences and collaborators on this stuff as part of my work and I’m excited to figure out how I can support the Black pals in my community better.