Insights by Andy: SHL’s Role in Dismantling Systemic Racial Oppression
Our commitment to drive meaningful change by actively standing against racism, amplifying the voices of people of color, and holding ourselves and community accountable.
Like many of you – I am personally haunted by the senseless murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as well as the countless other black lives that have been lost because of police brutality and structural racism.
These last couple of weeks have been both heartbreaking and heart-opening, as across the globe people have taken a stand against the violence that so many people of color experience in countries like the U.S., U.K., and many more.
Collectively the world is saying Black Lives Matter, and it has caused me to think deeply about the role I personally can play as the leader of SHL to contribute to the change that is desperately needed.
There is no doubt about it – we have all fostered the creation of a system that benefits white people and discriminates against people of color. But enough is enough! I am committed to the action needed to dismantle systemic oppression.
I know this journey will be filled with difficult conversations, learning, and most of all listening, but I believe that we will grow a culture that actively creates change and equity in our business, with our customers, and in our community.
We are taking these immediate steps at SHL as we continue to build out a long-term plan:
- Internal Dialogue: Our teams, starting with Executive Leadership, will engage in listening and learning conversations facilitated by leading DEI experts, to discover the ways in which we contribute to racism, and to commit to changing our behaviors, actions, and inactions.
- Amplify The Voices Of People Of Color: Our customers and our global community bring a wealth of diverse perspectives. We commit to amplifying the voices of people of color by giving them a platform to openly discuss the reality of racism, listen to the ways in which we must change, and stand in solidarity as we actively choose to be anti-racist.
- Partnerships Centered On Equity: We have the position and responsibility to educate our clients and their communities about these issues. Our tools and insights reduce bias and discrimination across the employee lifecycle. We commit to expanding our role in helping our customers make more objective, data-driven decisions about people.
This is a journey, and so much more listening, learning and action is needed to create meaningful and lasting change. We will update our commitment to action through medium- and long-term strategies against racism through our blog and podcast. In the meantime, my deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others.
I would like to close with a quote from Michelle Obama:
Race and racism are a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us – Black, white, everyone – no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.”
– Michelle Obama in a statement following the harrowing death of George Floyd