2020 has been a tough one. Aside from the obvious pandemic, people around the world were confronted to a harsh reality: that even though conversations around diversity have been around for quite some time now, many communities are still marginalised and underrepresented in the media, in the workplace, in culture, and so on.
2020 has taught us the hard way that we must do something about it. It has taught us that words must turn into actions: talking about diversity is a good start, but only concrete measures will drive change and make the future more inclusive.
And 2020 has also forced everyone to reflect. To think about their own values, behaviours, actions. It has forced us to challenge ourselves and our work practices. Have we done enough so far? If so, why not? And most importantly: what can we do moving forward?
Diversity at Rutherford
As a recruitment firm, diversity is at the heart of our practice. Whenever we work with one of our clients, our aim is to provide a shortlist of candidates that is a fair representation of the society we live in. The good news is that businesses are being more and more proactive on that front, requiring their recruitment partners to have strong D&I policies.
At Rutherford, we know that we have much more to do internally when it comes to embracing diversity & inclusion. While our D&I agenda with our clients and partners is clear and we are doing our very best to promote diversity and encourage discussions about it, we know that we must do more to fully adopt diversity within our own workforce.
So we took a step back this year. Looked at what we could do to engage an ongoing internal dialogue about diversity. Established some tangible action points that would make us learn, and most importantly, change for the better. We started to donate to charities that embody diversity, from the Disabilities Trust to FFLAG. We became members of the d&i leaders organisation to access training material and get guidance from experts in the field on how to effectively drive a diversity & inclusion agenda internally.
And recently, we signed up to the #10000BlackInterns programme.
What Is the #10000BlackInterns Programme?
The #10000BlackInterns initiative is an ambitious extension of the #100BlackInterns programme launched in August 2020. The success of the latter, combined with overall societal changes and further D&I discussions in the business world, has motivated its founders to further drive change within the UK work landscape.
Both initiatives have a specific goal: to help transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the United Kingdom by having industries come together to address the chronic underrepresentation of Black talent in their respective sector.
Through this programme, UK companies will offer paid work experience, provide training and development opportunities and create a sustainable cycle of mentorship and sponsorship for the Black community.
We are thrilled at Rutherford to be part of this programme, as it will tangibly impact the way we operate and grow as a business. We know we have a long way to go to be truly diverse: this step is a first of many, and we are excited to see what the future holds.
The #10000BlackInterns programme is still looking for internships in order to meet its goal of 2,000 of them per year for the next five years. If your firm wants to be part of the change, head over to 10000blackinterns.com to find out more about the programme and sign up.
Genevieve Higgins-Desbiens is the Marketing Manager at Rutherford, and D&I advocate.
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