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.

So far

  • 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!

Next

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.

Always

  • 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.

So chums, that’s where I’m at right now. I’ll link to my values page when it goes live and I’ll keep you updated on my Instagram (check the Values highlight) and through my email – The Connection.

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