The Case for Anti-racist Action, and Why Organisations Should be Anti-racists
Keeping in line our Racism at Work report, we no longer think it is appropriate to talk in terms of a “business case” when advocating for anti-racist practice. Given the deep historical roots of colonialism and slavery in this country, anti-racist behaviour should not need to be motivated by profit. Racially marginalised groups have the right to be treated as equals in the workplace by virtue of being human. Organisations have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that workers live work lives that are free from racism and racial discrimination. Some compelling reasons for addressing workplace racism and establishing an anti-racist work environment are:
- Dignity and Equity: Racism dehumanises people who experience it. Racial dignity and equity are universal human rights, and all workers are entitled to it, with those who feel valued and respected at their workplace are much likely to work more productively.
- Wellbeing: Racism has significant negative impacts on the well-being of those who experience it. It is linked to sleep problems and mental illness, which negatively affects efficiency.
- Engagement: Racial barriers at work have caused 1 in 4 racially marginalised women, surveyed in DCA’s Cracking the Glass Cultural Ceiling report, to ‘scale back’ at work (i.e., reduced ambitions, worked fewer hours), which causes organisations to lose valuable employees.
- Participation: 70% of employees exposed to racial discrimination, violence, or harassment take time off work.
- Innovation: Racially diverse teams are linked to greater creativity and idea generation, by reducing conformity and unilateral thinking and by increasing the ability to communicate or ‘broker’ across cultural contexts.
- Reputation: 60% of consumers indicated they will buy or boycott a brand, depending on how that brand responds to racial injustice.