Inclusion Agenda – Archive

Are Your D&I Efforts Helping Employees Feel Like They Belong? Four ways managers can go deeper than “inclusion.”
Harvard Business Review, Michael Slepian

Introduces the concept of ‘belonging’ to the D&I agenda, something that goes deeper than ‘inclusion’. The author argues that over-emphasising individual difference can make people feel less included. For example, when tackling diversity issues, everyone should be asked to contribute rather than just minority groups the organisation is trying to recruit and retain. Instead, when it comes to the day-to-day management, inclusion efforts should be focused more on the individual than the social group they represent. “People want their social group to be included and their individual self to belong.”

Virtual Inclusion in the City
The Inclusion Initiative, LSE

A fascinating report into what firms can do to overcome the challenges and maximise the benefits of virtual working. Practical guidance is given on how to avoid virtual presenteeism, in-groups and group think as well as how to motivate team members and assess them fairly in this new remote working environment. Primarily based upon financial and professional services firms, the findings are transferable to other contexts.

Diversity Still Matters
Kevin Dolan, Vivian Hunt, Sara Prince, and Sandra Sancier-Sultan, 
McKinsey makes no bones about it – not only does inclusion still matter, but the best companies are doubling down on their efforts in the light of Covid-19. It describes the kind of systematic, disciplined, long-term approach that makes a difference. It clearly connects inclusion with having a demonstrable impact on culture and performance. If you are trying to convince leaders in your organisation to take inclusion seriously, this is great source material.

Companies: Now Is Not The Time To Put Diversity And Inclusion On The Back Burner
Janice Gassam, Forbes

Whilst acknowledging the pressure that Covid-19 is putting on the inclusion agenda – this piece argues why it is more important than ever. DEI (Diversity, Equity and inclusion) is likened to a muscle that needs to be exercised frequently for it to grow stronger, or progress will be lost.

How to survive as a business amidst an unexpected lockdown of the economy
Simon Hedaux, LSE

In this blog from the LSE, there is a 3 step plan to help businesses think about how to survive the lockdown and prepare for the new normal. At the heart of this plan is a call for organisations to deliver on their stated values – in particular by treating their teams ‘right’. Effectively including people is seen as integral both from an ethical and economic perspective.

Coronavirus Is Putting Corporate Social Responsibility to the Test
Mark R. Kramer, HBR

A challenge for businesses to step up and ‘make good’ on their stated commitments to social purpose, a set of values and ways of treating employees and stakeholders. The article makes a powerful case that this crisis is a defining moment for companies and the way they respond will be remembered for decades.

Keeping diversity and inclusion on the agenda during uncertain times
Nic Hammarling, HR Zone

A helpful commentary on the need to keep inclusion embedded into the fabric of the business, especially during times of economic uncertainty. It describes how the emotional strain of ambiguity makes us more likely to default to ‘tried and tested’ approaches – and what to do to counter that.

Strategies to remain inclusive during the Coronavirus crisis
John M. Iino, Reed Smith

A podcast from the global law firm Reed Smith, which makes the case for keeping focused on the principles of diversity, inclusion and equity during the coronavirus crisis. It shares practical insights on the need for strong communications, education and staying connected.

Why Leadership Diversity Matters in Handling Crises Like COVID-19
Robert Arvanitis, Wharton University Press

This leadership insight article from a Fortune500 CFO reminds us that, in times of pressure, it is easy to revert to traditional thinking and the impulse to be drawn to those who are like us – known as homophily or affinity bias. It outlines how vital inclusion is in looking at problems differently, considering a wider range of financial issues and meeting the diverse needs and circumstances of staff.

Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion in Times of Crisis

This article is a very direct take on the real risks of discrimination and how a crisis can exacerbate inequalities. It looks at some of the language implications of the current crisis and identifies ways you can call out biased narratives regarding coronavirus.

The Silver Lining: Here Is How The COVID-19 Pandemic Might Lead To Greater Inclusion
Paolo Gaudiano, Forbes

A straightforward, refreshing piece that takes a look at the silver lining of the current situation and the positivity of unintended consequences. It considers how adaptions like remote working can provide greater workplace access and enable businesses to tap into a more diverse talent pool.

Minicast: Could diversity & inclusion programs become a casualty of coronavirus?
Tess Bennett, Which 50

An interesting podcast that considers the threat the coronavirus presents to diversity and inclusion programmes. Some good insights on the implications for millennial workers in particular.

Delivering through diversity
McKinsey & Company

When progress on inclusion is threatened by a crisis situation – it is vital for leaders to have a clear handle on the business case. They need to be able to articulate to themselves and others why diversity and inclusion is an advantage that they can’t afford to lose. This pre-virus piece from McKinsey is thoughtful, well-structured and explicit about the link between diverse teams and financial performance.

How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation
Rocío Lorenzo, Nicole Voigt, Miki Tsusaka, Matt Krentz, and Katie Abouzahr, BCG

This piece from Boston Consulting Group demonstrates the link between diverse leadership teams and an organisation’s ability to innovate. In a crisis situation, this capability to evolve and creatively respond to radically changed circumstances has never been more important.

D&I means growth
From EY this article shows the global services firm’s experience in connecting the business performance of their employees with the degree of inclusiveness they felt at work.

Embrace the Business Imperative of Diversity
An interesting article and videoclips which describes the business imperative of diversity for organisations operating in a decade that will be characterised by geopolitical and economic uncertainty. It outlines how inclusion enables organisations to be ‘primed for innovation and reinvention.’

Inclusive Leadership – Archive

 4 Conversations Leaders in the #MeToo Era Should Be Ready For
Harvard Business Review, Sarah Beaulieu

This article explores how leaders can equip themselves to confidently respond to sexual harassment disclosures and build an inclusive and positive working environment. Good leadership is more than responding to incidents when they occur. It’s about preventing them from happening in the first place. It explores 4 distinct areas of conversation – disclosure, intervention, creating an open and safe culture and support.

 The 5 Rules Followed By Accountable Leaders
Paloma Cantero-Gomez, Forbes

Clarity about one’s role and responsibilities coupled with standards and ownership is the key to accountability. We all need this but in leaders it is critical, as they hold their teams and themselves absolutely accountable.

Leading Out of Adversity
Rich Lesser and Martin Reeves, BCG

An article from the Boston Consulting Group arguing that resilience is no longer a theoretical concern. C19 has pulled it front and centre along with a need for firms and governments to demonstrate their values and purpose. There will be no ‘return to normal’ – leaders will have to adapt to the cultural shift that C19 has generated.

Why CEOs Should Model Vulnerability
Jeffrey Cohn and U. Srinivasa Rangan, HBR

Leaders face an unforgiving environment – sometimes described using the acronym ‘VUCA’ (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.) This article talks about how future CEOs can be helped to develop the traits that will enable them to cope. It particularly focuses on the value of vulnerability and being able to tolerate discomfort.

Finding the Right Words in a Crisis
Carmine Gallo, HBR

Concise article on the importance of choosing the right words in a crisis. Outlines how using short sentences, analogies, storytelling and the Rule of 3 can help ensure people understand the message you’re trying to convey.

How to demonstrate calm and optimism in a crisis
Jacqueline Brassey and Michiel Kruyt , McKinsey & Company

What does it take to maintain calm in the face of crisis? This article describes the importance of leaders developing ‘integrative awareness’ (combining awareness of your external context with self-awareness.) It outlines the six practices leaders can follow to build this capability.

Addressing the impact of COVID-19

This helpful 2-pager from Deloitte is a digest of the traits demonstrated by inclusive leaders and how these can foster a more inclusive workplace in the face of Covid-19. The article expands on 6 specific traits: commitment, courage, cognisance of bias, curiosity, cultural intelligence and collaboration.

Marriott’s CEO Demonstrates Truly Authentic Leadership In A Remarkably Emotional Video
Carmine Gallo, Financial Times

This Forbes article, leadership communication expert Carmine Gallo analyses the video statement sent out by Marriott International CEO, Arne Sorenson in response to the coronavirus. Gallo breaks down why he views this as an effective example of authentic leadership in action – isolating the five attributes that made it work so well as an inclusive piece of communication.

Covid-19 was a Leadership Test. It Came Back Negative.
Sam Walker, The Wall Street Journal

A challenging piece from Sam Walker in the Wall Street Journal on the leadership deficit exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. His view is that leadership should have prevented the pandemic and what we are now seeing is ‘crisis management’. Worth it for the parable of the drowning children in the water and the need for ‘upstream solutions.’ From an inclusion perspective – interesting to think about which voices get listened to and which don’t – particularly in advance of a crisis.

Are You Leading Through the Crisis … or Managing the Response?
Eric J. McNulty and Leonard Marcus, HBR

This HBR article from McNulty and Marcus identifies the leadership traps associated with crisis. Many potential pitfalls have a clear inclusion dimension, for example the risk of taking too narrow a view, over-centralising the response, failing to delegate and forgetting the ‘human factors.’

A Time to Lead with Purpose and Humanity
Hubert Joly, HBR

Hubert Joly (previously CEO at Best Buy) talks about the importance of applying the principles of ‘purposeful, human leadership’ in this time of crisis. He describes a type of leadership that puts people and customers first, with profit as an outcome not a goal in itself – and outlines what this means in practice.

Leadership in a crisis: Responding to the coronavirus outbreak and future challenges
Gemma D’Auria and Aaron De Smet, McKinsey & Co

An article from McKinsey & Co, which talks about the five leadership practices that will help senior executives to response effectively to a situation none of them will have experienced before. It is particularly good at identifying the biases that can get in the way – and the behaviours, mindsets and inclusive practices to counter them.

Decision making in uncertain times 
Andrea Alexander , Aaron De Smet, and Leigh Weiss, McKinsey & Co

This McKinsey & Co piece concentrates on effective decision-making in crisis situations. It establishes a few simple principles that will set leaders up to make the bold calls that are needed. From an inclusion perspective, the authors are explicit about the value of pausing to gain broader, diverse perspectives and rejecting a hierarchical model of leadership to involve more stakeholders in big decisions.

Strong leadership for uncertain times 
Financial Times

A series of mini-snapshot interviews with CEOs on what they are doing to exercise leadership through this crisis. Whilst there aren’t necessarily any major surprises here, there is plenty to support the importance of ‘seeking diverse sources of knowledge.’ Many interviewees also reinforce the importance of transparent, early, inclusive communications to help create some sense of stability.

Girish Menon: How to lead in a time of crisis
Girish Menon, Third Sector

A first-person piece from Girish Menon, Chief Executive of ActionAid UK, who models some of the candour and (well-judged) vulnerability that is a hallmark of inclusive leaders. He is also one of the first leaders we’ve heard talking about intersectionality and its relationship to resilience.

The inclusive leader
Korn Ferry

From Korn Ferry – this is a good primer on the business case for inclusion and the need for inclusive leadership. Written pre-pandemic, but we think it doesn’t hurt to pause and ground ourselves with a reminder on the basics of ‘why inclusion?’

The six signature traits of inclusive leadership
Bernadette Dillon and  Juliet Bourk, Deloitte

Another piece written pre-pandemic, this time from Deloitte. We like it because it clearly identifies the “6 signature traits of an inclusive leader’. It could provide a useful way for leaders to do a mini-audit to see which of those traits are showing up under pressure – and which might be faltering.

HR and D&I – Archive

Accountability is key to enabling diversity and inclusion in organizations
Shane Crabb, Chief Learning Officer

This article looks at the errors organisations make in executing on D&I strategies. It is the final summary statement that gives a key view: Infusing accountability at the organizational and individual level is key to building diverse organizations with inclusive cultures.

Microsoft made inclusion every employee’s responsibility. Here’s why.
Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Microsoft

Ensuring there was joint accountability for inclusion was a key strategy for Microsoft. In 2016, they tied components of executive compensation to internal diversity and inclusion goals. More recently, the company incorporated inclusion into its performance review process for every employee.

How Employees’ Expectations Have Changed Through The Pandemic: What Leaders And HR Officers Need To Know
Kathy Caprino, Forbes

A description of how employees’ expectations have been changed by the pandemic and their experience of different ways of working. It outlines the implications for leaders and HR officers who will need to respond to increased expectations around flexibility, inclusion, work-life balance and autonomy.

Employers: Imagining the New Normal
Jennifer Liston-Smith

We are hearing the phrase ‘the new normal’ a lot at the moment – an acknowledgement of how much has been changed by this crisis and the potential to build better ways of working. This blog by consultant Jennifer Liston-Smith, is particularly good at suggesting how HR leaders could envisage and prepare for that new normal, with inclusion as an absolute priority.

COVID-19 Resources for Coaches

This resource list from the ICF, one of the leading coaching bodies, is a helpful collation of materials and guidance. It provides a useful reference point for coaches, as well as helpful information for HR professionals when considering how to adapt their use of coaches in the light of Covid-19.

The coronavirus crisis thrusts corporate HR chiefs into the spotlight
The Economist

This article from The Economist describes the changing role of HR leaders. It tracks various milestones in corporate history and how the focus of the Chief People Officer has altered and become increasingly important to the executive suite. HR leaders are seen as vital in keeping the people agenda as a central priority during times of crisis.

Adapting workplace learning in the time of coronavirus
Alok Kshirsagar, Tarek Mansour, Liz McNally, and Marc Metakis, McKinsey

This article provides a good view of the changing nature of Learning & Development and the need to adapt learning styles away from traditional classroom modes of delivery. This trend has only been accelerated by current circumstances.

Why Inclusivity Needs to be the Backbone of Performance Reviews
Aubrey Blanche, TLNT

A useful reminder that performance reviews need to be mindful of inclusion, with some good pointers on how to ensure those reviewing don’t lose sight of inclusion during the review process. Under the pressure of the current crisis, there is a greater risk that biases can creep in – so this is a good reminder about how to mitigate against that.

Weekly Wrap: Coronavirus for HR and Remote Work Resource Compilation
Lance Haun, TLNT

This website has a number of useful materials especially with regard to the impact Covid-19 is having on the workplace. It acts as a kind of portal and details information on communications, remote working, people styles etc. As one article in the portal says ‘By taking the time to understand how their people work, in their offices and at home, and how they relate to others, employers can equip their workforce with the tools required to manage stress, remain engaged, and be productive through this crisis’

How to create effective online diversity trainings
Janice Gassam, Forbes 

Some interesting insights on how distance learning can be used for inclusion training and the practices that make sessions engaging for participants.

Ways of Working – Archive

How to manage a hybrid team

Managing a hybrid team can be challenge, especially in a context where people’s needs and expectations are constantly changing. This article outlines practical ways managers can engage with their team members, whether in the office or working remotely. Checking proximity bias, being clear about meeting schedules and applying transparent performance management and development approaches are key to managing a hybrid team in an inclusive way.

 5 Questions That (Newly) Virtual Leaders Should Ask Themselves
Melissa Raffoni

A challenge to leaders to identify ways they need to develop to lead effectively in a virtual setting. The article acknowledges the factors that make working together virtually so challenging, and then outlines the questions leaders can ask to help themselves adapt effectively.

What Will Work-Life Balance Look Like After the Pandemic?
Bobbi Thomason and Heather Williams

A call for business leaders to take the opportunity to learn from what has worked well during the crisis and to question the efficiency of pre-C19 ways of working, with a particular emphasis on navigating a better work-life balance.

 The “IBM Work From Home Pledge”
This is interesting because it moves beyond general principles into explicitly outlining what it means in practice to work well from home. The pledge gets really specific about the ‘how’ – for example when describing working flexibly, being family sensitive and checking in on one another.

 Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way
Bryan Lufkin, BBC

With the coronanvirus making working from home (WFH) the ‘new normal’ – this round up from the BBC provides a good, accessible summary of what to do, and what to avoid. It offers practical advice for those getting used to WFH and is good on how to establish effective work patterns and boundaries.

7 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Teams
Jason Aten, Inc

This piece is an accessible and easy to follow guide for people managers leading remote teams. A two-minute read that distils some sensible advice into a simple 7 simple point – with a clear emphasis on the need for frequent and effective communications.

How to work from home without losing your sanity
Kathryn Vasel, CNN Business

A guide for remote workers to ensure they set themselves up for success and take advantage of the new way of working. It also has some guidance on not overworking but in maintaining a good balance of work and life.

How the best remote teams communicate
Lila MacLellan, quartz at Work

This research-based piece gets beyond general advice on the importance of communication when people are remote working to pinpoint the type of communication that is most effective. It describes how “bursts of rapid communication, followed by longer periods of silence, are tell-tale signs of successful teams.”

8 Ways to Manage Your Team While Social Distancing
Timothy R. Clark, HBR

This piece from Harvard Business Review gives some good high-level thinking for managers in terms of how they should manage their teams remotely.

A blueprint for remote working: Lessons from China
Raphael Bick, Michael Chang, Kevin Wei Wang, and Tianwen Yu , McKinsey Digital

The reliance on good technology is never more important than when operating a remote working business model. This article from McKinsey gives very useful insights into the best technology products that are available and how well suited they are for the different modes of communication we can employ when managing remote teams.

Working from home? Here are five ways to reduce procrastination and be productive
The Conversation

This is a simple and clear article which emphasises good self-management techniques and principles so that remote workers pay important attention to their own wellbeing.

How to take a conference call when you absolutely hate taking conference calls
Hollie Richardson, Stylist

For those of us doing a conference call for the first time this has some interesting guidance on how to make the best impact.

Tips from our Global Coach team on how to find a remote working style that suits
Executive Coaching Consultancy

This thoughtful article describes the realities of working from home and the fact that for many it will take some adjustment. It also acknowledges that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’. Psychological health, goal setting and staying connected all feature here.

A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers
Barbara Z. Larson , Susan R. Vroman and Erin E. Makarius, HBR

A good overview of ‘how to’ for managers leading remote teams as well as some useful steers for those working remotely.

Quartz’s guide to keeping your remote team connected in times of crisis
Dasia Moore & Clarissa Pharr, Quartz

A simple summary from Quartz on what it takes to keep colleagues productive, healthy and connected during this crisis. It spans everything from software and hardware needs to establishing a healthy routine.

Wellbeing – Archive

How Organizations Can Support the Mental Health of Black Employees
Angela Neal-Barnett, HBR

How Organizations Can Support the Mental Health of Black Employees Angela Neal-Barnett, Harvard Business Review, 10 June 2020The unrelenting series of events Black Americans have witnessed before and after the killing of George Floyd is racial trauma and the author outlines how organisations can support the mental health and wellbeing of Black employees by providing them with a safe place to talk and bringing in a skilled expert in racial trauma to help them process what they are experiencing and feeling.

How CEOs Can Support Employee Mental Health in a Crisis
Ryan Smith, HBR

This article makes explicit the costs of failing to pay attention to the mental health of your people. It outlines the potential consequences of uncertainty and identifies some clear, specific steps that leaders and managers can take to mitigate the impacts of stress, anxiety and isolation.

10 ways COVID-19 could change Workplace Wellbeing
Charles Alberts

Written by Aon’s Head of Health Management, Charles Alberts – this informative blog outlines some of the ways in which Covid-19 could change workplace wellbeing. It makes ten predictions – including health and wellbeing becoming a C-Suite priority, more businesses talking about mental health and greater flexibility about work location.

How to Lead in a Crisis
David Rock

How leaders can help to reduce stress for their teams during the coronavirus crisis. A useful description of how our brains typically respond to different levels of threat, alongside three ways that leaders can help teams to manage the stress this causes.

How to Deal with Constantly Feeling Overwhelmed
Rebecca Zucker, HBR

Rebecca Zucker’s HBR article on how and why leaders get overwhelmed by complexity was written pre Covid-19 but is more applicable than ever. She pinpoints some of the assumptions and behaviours that undermine leaders’ ability to cope and identifies ways to address them. With many of us working from home, our ability to manage boundaries is bound to be under stress, so it’s worth spending energy on developing some coping strategies.

Address Your Stress
MHFA Centre

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a social enterprise providing guidance and training to support mental health in the workplace and beyond. They have a range of good, clear, accessible materials, so we have signposted you directly to their resource page. Have a good look around and see what might work for you – we found the discussion of the “Stress Container” particularly useful.

Burnout Isn’t Just in Your Head. It’s in Your Circumstances.
Adam Grant, The New York Times
Organisational psychologist Adam Grant looks at emotional exhaustion and burnout and what it takes to prevent or cure them. He boils this down to three options – reduce the demands of the job, provide support, or increase control. He then applies this thinking to the live circumstances of the global pandemic.

Leading in truly uncertain times. 
Dr Jen Frahm

Dr Jen Frahm’s short blog piece talks about the implications of working in a “VUCA’ environment – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. She points to the need for leaders to calm themselves and those around them and offers some simple clear guidance about how to do so.


You’ve been called out for a micro-aggression – what do you do?
Harvard Business Review

As firms begin to have different conversations about race, calling out and responding to examples of microaggressions may become more common place. This article outlines how to apologise, how and when to make amends and the best way to incorporate the learning into future action.

So, can we talk? #talkaboutblack
Dawid Konotey-Ahulu

Compelling essay on “what it is like to be born a black person, born a long way from the hallowed Board rooms of UK PLC.” It uses the metaphor of ‘kinks in the hosepipe’ to illustrate how black people experience multiple obstacles leading to lives of under-realised potential. The article deconstructs the excuses leaders hide behind and provides specific actions necessary to make progress.

It’s time for white people to step up for black colleagues
Nicola Rollock, Financial Times

A call for more white people to be active allies, by becoming aware of white privilege and challenging passivity and denial. It takes effort, active listening and is a constant process but is essential if we are to see meaningful and sustainable change.

Is Your Company Actually Fighting Racism, or Just Talking About It?
Kira Hudson Banks and Richard Harvey, Harvard Business Review

An article that explores how leaders can respond to Black Lives Matter and listen to Black experience inside their workplaces. Connecting corporate rhetoric with the daily, lived experience of Black colleagues is crucial if racism within organisations is to be addressed.

Race Fluency – Getting the Language Right
Delta Alpha PSI

An article that explores the complexity of language when talking about ‘race’, presents the history and implications of using some of the most familiar terms, and provides practical suggestions for future use.

4 Ways White People Can Process Their Emotions Without Hijacking the Conversation on Racial Justice
Jennifer Loubriel

Jennifer Loubriel’s article describes the ways in which white people can typically hijack the conversation on racial justice – pulling the focus on them, rather than on the lived experiences of black people. She gives four very clear pieces of advice about how to avoid doing this.

Alice Dearing: ‘I don’t want to always be referred to as the black swimmer from Britain’
Sean Ingle, Guardian

Elite swimmer Alice Dearing on what it could mean to become the first Team GB black swimmer to make it to an Olympic Games. She talks about the necessity of challenging stereotypes and how she is using her platform – “I like to think about everything I do as influencing my younger self.”

TalkAboutBlack – Panel Discussion and Call to Action
A powerful panel discussion from Diversity Project’s #TalkAboutBlack campaign. In the wake of the Amy Cooper incident in Central Park, and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the panel shared their personal experiences of racial injustice, their insights into structural inequality and their views on what individuals and organisations can do about it.

How to support black publishers and bookshops

The stories we hear, and who gets to tell them shapes our worldview. This article from Penguin puts a spotlight on the #InclusiveIndies campaign to support independent, inclusive publishers – as well as black-run bookshops and literary agents who represent the under-represented. With the upsurge of interest in black authors – where and how we purchase can have a direct effect on the structure of publishing.

Talk About Black – Call to Action!
A searing summary of the impact of the Amy Cooper incident in Central Park and George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis. This compelling piece to camera from Dawid Konotey-Ahulu connects current events with the horrors of the slave trade, showing “what racism gives you permission to do.” It is a call to action to stop black people living lives of ‘under-realised potential.”

Becoming Anti-Racist: Fear, Learning, Growth.
Andrew M Ibrahim

A graphic created by Andrew Ibrahim MD on become anti-racist, talking about what happens in the Fear Zone, Learning Zone and Growth Zone. Ibrahim tweeted “Learning a lot and striving to be better. Created this visual mental model as a way to help keep myself accountable.”

Don’t turn your back on Black lives when the hashtags fade
Natalie Morris, Metro

Journalist Natalie Morris consistently writes some of the most insightful articles on race in the UK. Here she talks about the real risk of short-term attention on Black Lives Matter, which could fade away with the next news cycle. Instead she calls for the real work to being to achieve long-term change.

There’s a lot more to do
Jeffrey Boakye

Author Jeffrey Boakye shared a 15 step process for white people to become anti-racists, allies and advocates. But he describes his frustration at the impatience of those people getting stuck at Step 3 “Seek immediate answers”, without committing to the long-term work necessary to dismantle white supremacy.

Nine books to help you understand race and dismantle racism

The consistent advice for those striving to become anti-racist is to learn about how racism shows up on an individual and systemic level. There are many brilliant resources to be found – and these are just 9 relatively recently published books that can provide a starting point for that process of education.

To White People, on Racism
Maatin Patel

Hope not Hate activist Maatin Patel writes about what it means to live in a world that “penalises you for the colour of your skin.” He talks about the cost of speaking up about racism and how often his challenges are dismissed or ignored. He desribes the actions he would like to see from white people – that they learn, they give and they use their voices.

How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time
Baratunde Thurston

Write, activist and comedian Baratunde Thurston’s uses his wit and storytelling to expose what it means to be black in America. The raw fear of being pulled over by the police and the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on black Americans for the ‘crime’ of eating, walking or generally “living while black”. He shows us how to deconstruct headlines to see the underlying structural racism – and asks us to take action to level up.

A Letter to my White Friends
Chris Lambert

Londoner, Harvardian and Olympian Chris Lambert writes a letter ‘to my white friends.’ He calls out the avoidance, silence, inertia and unwillingness to challenge racism that makes people complict, “inequality persists because the majority permits it.”

Open Mind – Archive

Applying the Lessons of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter
Kira Banks, TED TALK

Kira Hudson Banks’ Tedtalk applies the lessons of #MeToo to #BlackLivesMatter. Neither are about ‘bad apples’ or isolated incidences, instead the ‘barrel is rotten’ and we need to tackle the systemic sexism and racism that leads many of us to turn a blind eye. There is a call to stop victim blaming, to humanise the people experiencing discrimination and to take action to dismantle structural racism.

Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months
Rutger Bregman, Guardian

Author Rutger Bregman uncovered a real “Lord of the Flies” story of boys stranded on an island – but they did not harm or bully each other, quite the opposite. The boys established a society that focused on co-operation, friendship and loyalty. In the light of the many stories of kindness emerging from our experiences of Covid-19, perhaps we need to challenge our views on human nature and what it is capable of.

Covid-19 is increasing the divide in life chances between rich and poor
Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin, LSE

Covid-19 is not the great leveler. It does not affect all of us equally, instead it has exposed the gulf in life chances between the poor and the privileged. This blog from the LSE proposes urgent reforms to tackle economic and education inequalities, without which we face ‘a dark age of declining opportunity.’

The Human Skills We Need in an Unpredictable World
Margaret Heffernan

Writer and entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan’s TED talk focuses on the value of ‘messy’ human skills like imagination, humility and bravery and how invaluable these are in helping us to cope with an unpredictable future.

RSA ANIMATE: Re-Imagining Work
Dave Coplin

Part of the RSA’s award-winning Animate series – a sharp, illustrated 10-minute provocation on the nature of work and how it is no longer a physical destination. Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft challenges organisations to trust employees to work in the best place and with the right tools to produce their best work. He argues that this brings a ‘cognitive openness’ which lends itself to better quality thinking and innovation.

Is inclusion transforming the advertising sector? 
Ali Hannan, Raconteur

A short piece from Ali Hannan the founder of Creative Equals on how inclusion is (and isn’t) affecting the advertising sector. We liked the spotlight being put on some of the most progressive and creative campaigns, which show what’s possible when brands get inclusion right.

Virus puts responsible capitalism to the test
Financial Times

An opinion piece from the FT that makes the case for a ‘redrawing of the relationship between business and society’ which the authors suggest should lead to a more responsible or caring capitalism.

The Power of Vulnerability
Brené Brown, TED Talks

An oldie but a goodie – how can we not be vulnerable amidst such uncertainty? In one of the most popular talks in TED history, Brene Brown talks about the power of vulnerability and how it is integral to human connection, empathy and belonging. All key concerns for leaders trying to navigate the turmoil caused by Covid 19.

Coronavirus ‘could deepen racial divides’ in the UK
Natalie Morris , Metro

Part of the Metro’s ground-breaking series of articles on “The State of Racism” – this piece by Natalie Morris considers the ways in which coronavirus could deepen racial divides in the UK. It’s a sobering look at pre-existing structural inequalities and how these could be further compounded by the response to the virus.