Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; from now on companies must rethink the way their doing business around these 3 aspects. After everything I’ve witnessed this year, tolerating racism is not an option. I believe it’s time to take action and bring forward information that can help entrepreneurs create a safe workplace. In the following interview with Chairman of Black Ice, Eghosa (Iggy) Aihe, you will find the first steps you can take so you can stop any racist practices in your company:
What would be the first step towards building an anti-racist company?
Companies are simply a group of people working towards a goal, so for us, it starts with the employees we hire. From the very first interview, we explain to potential employees and consultants on how important diversity is to our company. We work with clients across the world and it’s critical that anyone working with us has a certain level of cultural competency and open-mindedness. You don’t need to know everything, but you must be open, accepting, and curious — if you aren’t we just can’t hire you.
Focusing solely on implementing diversity is not enough. How can business owners be focused on inclusion to keep their employees?
That’s a very comprehensive question, but we believe that it starts from the top and trickles down into the culture. Owners need to display the type of culture that they want their employees to embody. When owners operate under strong inclusivity standards and believe in the power of it, employees often take note and these values are displayed during hiring processes. Again it isn’t as simple as that, however; we do believe that is where it starts!
Running an anti-racist company is daily and constant work. How do you manage that?
Owners need to develop open lines of communication and take steps that encourage employees to share their ideas, concerns, and more. Over the years we’ve realized that even if you have rules and mechanisms in place, things still happen. Employers can’t see everything that goes on, however; with strong lines of communication, they can hear about potential issues and needs around inclusivity.
We see in the media that often top management is unaware of racist practices inside their companies or assume that their employees are not affected by racism inside the company. How can management check if employees from all departments are affected by injustices?
This goes back to having open lines of communication within a company and culture that encourages it. In addition to this, management should make it a point to check-in with employees on a scheduled basis (Yearly, Quarterly, etc). Furthermore, if the company has adequate resources that can and should make support services available for employees.
How can you educate your employees to do the same with the clients of the company?
It starts with making DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) a core tenet and value of the company. Once that happens, DEI becomes tied to the bottom-line, hiring practices, operational practices, and much more. One can do workshops, seminars, etc, but we believe that actions speak louder than words, and values dictate actions.
For more on Eghosa (Iggy) Aihe, click here.
Follow Eghosa (Iggy) Aiheon Instagram today!
This feature was submitted by Madalina Babalean
Born in Romania, and currently established in Scotland, Madalina Babalean graduated from Babes Bolyai University’s prestigious Journalism Department in 2016.
Her enthusiasm for writing began after studying online editorial, followed shortly by the affinity for men style and lifestyle blogging. In a world full of fashion bloggers, she wanted to step out and become one of the few females around the globe that write and produce online content exclusively about men fashion and lifestyle.
This hasn’t come in her way of using her online platforms to promote significant, positive change in communities and individuals through advocacy, empowered by compassion.
Featured Image obtained from the official Instagram of Eghosa (Iggy) Aiheon