This month is Pride month and more than ever, with incidents like Melania Geymonat and Chris taking place, the growing importance of true acceptance in and outside of the workplace is becoming impossible to ignore. So how do we, at First Mile show our commitment to it?
We believe that to be truly committed to diversity and inclusion, this must extend beyond weekly or monthly sentiments. Instead, it needs to become something that is embedded in the culture.
We’re quite fortunate at First Mile that employing diversely has always been the norm, but the inclusion piece of D&I is the area that always needs to be worked at. Verna Myers summarises it as "Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance".
Here are 6 things we’re doing at First Mile to make sure everyone is dancing:
1. Exude diversity and allyship from the top down.
Every member of our Senior Management Team has shared a unique statement about what diversity means to them and why they’re committed to playing their part in delivering it.
2. Data, data and more data!
We’ve all by now heard about the unconscious bias and we all know that our brains are prone to making snap judgements that are often wrong and unfair. Data, therefore, plays a huge part in remedying these biases. Optional equality monitoring forms have played a huge part in our strategy. We want to give our workforce the chance to self-identify and be their authentic selves so that we can understand what their needs are and how to best protect them.
We want to make sure that everyone, regardless of seniority, has the chance to have their say. Every week, First Milers are invited to share their feedback on our work culture to make sure everyone’s voices are heard and respected.
4. Expert advice - Stonewall
In January 2019 we joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme. Amongst a huge multitude of benefits, having a dedicated Account Manager to advise on best practices means that we can be assured we are making decisions in the best interest of our employees.
Stonewall launched their #NoBystanders campaign in 2014, and we’ve taken inspiration to employ the same thinking in our office. Ruth Hunt, Chef Exec of Stonewall, has spoken about the danger around a “tolerance to intolerance”. We want First Milers to feel as though they are equipped to challenge intolerance. Recent diversity training sessions through The Centre, which was delivered by the hugely inspirational Sally Pearman, has been a huge part in getting this delivered.
Finally, you’ve got to stand up and be visible in your allyship. This year, we’ll be marching in London’s Pride Parade, and the team is very excited about it. Also, as you might have already seen on social media, we have transformed two of our Euro6 and ULEZ-compliant trucks that serve Central London to celebrate Pride month and show our support. Allyship for us goes beyond how we can affect our internal culture - a part of our responsibility as champions of diversity is showing face.
At First Mile we’re proud to be champions of diversity and inclusion, as our diversity statement states:
- Having a variety of different people brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding
- When we are all heard, understood and appreciated, we all do better. When we are in a safe and inclusive environment, we are equipped to give our best.
- If everyone thrives so will our business.