Lens Blog

Psychological insight on current affairs


posted on 1st April 2021 by Anita Kirpal

As a ‘BAME woman’, I feel punched in the stomach being told that we are a “model to the world” on racial equality. It’s easy to feel furious, despondent and exhausted when the agenda goes back like this, but as leaders, let’s channel this energy into something constructive.

Two ideas from me: first, reach out and check in with your people. Our businesses are institutions and we all shape them. Listen to people and see how they’re doing. Ask them about the report. Keep the debate open and safe. And when I say listen: REALLY LISTEN.

Second, when you’re pulling together teams on projects, think about who is in the room. This report shows that if your starting point is that you don’t believe in structural racism, your results will conclude there is no structural racism. There needs to be a full diversity of voices – including critical friends – in the room to avoid group think.

What do you think? What else can we as business leaders do to build unity given the anger and division that exists right now?