The wave of global campaigns and demonstrations since George Floyd’s murder on 25th May have forced individuals, businesses, institutions, and communities to open their eyes to the continued police brutality, racially motivated violence and discrimination against black people.
Since 25th May, we have taken time to start the education process, to listen and learn. We, like many firms, needed to review and reflect on how well we were supporting our black employees. We needed to listen to our black employees’ concerns and criticisms and engage with our workforce to establish the improvements we could make. We had to review our inclusivity as a whole – were we doing everything we could to combat discrimination? The answer was no. We are committed to remaining as transparent as possible during this journey, and so want to share some updates in our progress.
The first step in the education process was the global ‘Let’s Talk About It’ campaign, led by our Diversity in Business Committee. This presented an opportunity for our workforce to come together from all offices to openly discuss the issues at hand with colleagues, managers, senior leadership and ExCo. Our discussions – frank, honest and emotional – brought home what many of us knew already: just how much more there was to be done to improve the opportunities for our black employees and the diversity of our workforce. We knew there were no easy fixes, but we wholeheartedly committed to an ongoing process of change.
Since then, we have discussed where we could give greater support for our black employees and the black community, whilst ensuring that we have policies and processes in place to guarantee we are inclusive for everyone. We have held group forums for BLM and smaller focus groups with black employees and alumni to gather feedback. The next global ‘Let’s Talk About It’ meeting is coming up soon, and the Diversity in Business committee, an open forum, hosts weekly meetings to take on new ideas and discuss the changes being made.
One of the primary areas of change is with regards to our recruitment process. Again, the solution here is not a quick one. We want to diversify the pool of candidates that we choose from, and in turn, the pool of candidates that our clients choose from. We have initiated school outreach, university outreach and client outreach so that we can provide opportunities to those who may not have been to university. We will be partnering with schools and universities over the coming months who have the same goal as us: to create equal opportunities for talented youth to enter the finance industry. George Rose can be contacted directly at George.Rose@jdxconsulting.com if there are any institutions or individuals that might like to pick up conversations around this with him.
First steps have been taken across the business to start our ongoing process of change. Our recruiters have now all taken part in unconscious bias training, and within the next month every JDXer involved in hiring decisions or appraisal decisions will be required to participate in unconscious bias training too. We are in discussions with technology companies to remove names off CVs because we know that individuals with western names are four times more likely to be hired. The recruitment agents and HR teams are recording ethnicity for the first time to enable us to report our diversity and inclusion stats accurately each year. There is much to be done to improve the inclusivity of our culture within JDX, and we will continue our conversations internally to make these changes so that all JDXers feel as comfortable and valued as one another.
We know there’s lots more to be done, and we’re excited to be making improvements and to continue this journey. We will keep you- our external network- updated, so as to keep ourselves accountable.