Every organisation and leadership team in the country has a moral duty to address racism, structural inequalities and barriers to inclusion in society. This statement primarily addresses Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) diversity and inclusion but we will also continue to address other aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion.
Everything we do in the provision of care at Julia’s House is about treating people equally as individuals, and seeing their potential rather than their limitations: maximizing their opportunity to play, live, love and thrive within the family and the wider world.
After hundreds of years of oppression, and nearly sixty years on from the worldwide rallying call that people be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character, overt racism may finally have become unacceptable but there is still not equal opportunity for all. Systemic racism and structural disadvantage persist in society.
The Black Lives Matter campaign is a wake-up call to us all, especially people running organisations - to challenge our own thinking; to not assume that we are good enough simply because charities do good things; to acknowledge that racism exists in unconscious bias and in the way that power and privilege are unequally distributed; and to take responsibility and decisive action to address bias and inequalities.
Learning from Black Lives Matter and from the voluntary sector report Home Truths by Voice4Change and ACEVO (the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations), the Julia’s House leadership team has taken the opportunity to educate ourselves, to measure where we are and to identify and commit to how we can improve.
Latest Census statistics are that 4.4% of Dorset’s population and 3.4% of Wiltshire’s (not including Swindon) are from BAME backgrounds (national average 14.6%).
Benchmarking where Julia’s House is now in representation:
However this is not just about statistical measurement. We can’t just assume that certain data mean we are fine, and only focus on other data. This is about learning, educating ourselves, acknowledging the part we should play in addressing wider inequalities, and committing to continual improvement.
For several years now, Julia’s House has adopted good practice in ‘blind’ shortlisting: job applicants’ names and other personal identifiable details are redacted, and equality and diversity monitoring data are removed by HR before being handed to the recruiting manager.
We have also provided translation services of Care documents and meetings for service user families where required. Care staff are educated in cultural differences and diverse requirements, for example in End of Life care, and many different faiths are accounted for in bereavement support.
However there is much more than we can and will do:
As part of our commitment to being open and accountable, we will regularly and publicly report on our progress. We cannot promise always to get things absolutely right - there is no such thing as a perfect organisation - but we must be part of the solution.
We are committed to addressing how Julia’s House may improve, and to achieving a fair and inclusive society.