I am sure lots of us will have shared in the emotions of last night’s Euro 2020 final. For the first time in many of our lives, the match united people from all backgrounds with one dream. Whilst that dream may not have quite come true, we still have much to take away from the Euros. The strength of the positive spirit that was generated throughout the tournament really shows what we can achieve when we come together. It was therefore disappointing to wake up this morning and hear about accounts of racism towards some of the players that brought that spirit to us.
Sadly, racism in football and in society is nothing new and the fight against inequality will continue. However, what has been reassuring is the number of people who have taken it upon themselves today to challenge racist comments on social media and express their support for the team and what they have achieved.
Many employers may have been concerned today with staff attendance and performance after what may have been a late night. But in my view, the events of the last 24 hours carry two deeper messages.
The first is the power of diversity. We have seen the energy that is created when we come together with a shared goal. A good employer should create a culture that harnesses this energy by bringing people together from all walks of life and ensuring their contribution is valued and recognised equally. In my opinion, it is only with diversity of thought that employers will be able to face the challenges of the future.
The second is the responsibility to stand up for what is right. A good employer should treat diversity and inclusion as more than just a strategy or a policy. It should encourage employees to be proactive in addressing inequality by openly questioning their own biases, sharing their personal experiences, and calling out inappropriate behaviour. By adopting this approach, employers can help to create a workplace which is free from discrimination and unfair treatment.
If you would value a discussion about diversity and inclusion in your business then please do get in touch.
"We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together." Gareth Southgate