Black Lives Matter to Quill: a message from our CEO
I know that I’m speaking for everyone at Quill when I say how sickened I was by the abhorrent murder of George Floyd. We condemn racism of any kind and we are all committed to stamping out discrimination, racial hatred, prejudice and bias at work, at home and in our communities.
We stand at a pivotal point in history. The video footage of George Floyd’s inhumane murder has brought the issue of racism to the fore and highlighted the intolerable human suffering that is taking place in our society today. Regrettably, it isn’t an isolated incident either, but one of many – most of which aren’t caught on film and simply go unreported.
We are, as individuals and as a company, committed to equality and to doing everything possible to educate ourselves on the #BlackLivesMatter movement. That’s not inauthentic “grandstanding”, rather a recognition of the fact that those of us not impacted directly by discrimination need to listen more and take more action. This is not just an American problem, it’s happening everywhere. We all have the responsibility to actively drive positive change in our businesses, in our communities – and in ourselves.
At Quill, our whole recruitment process is designed to find people who share our values. We feel it goes without saying that we would never hire (or not hire) someone based on their skin colour. But the last week has highlighted that “it goes without saying” is simply not good enough.
Our workforce is not nearly as diverse as it needs to be and does not adequately reflect the multicultural society in which we live. We’ve made good strides in addressing gender inequality but have inadvertently failed to address racial diversity. We say we are committed to diversity, and we do have the right policies in place, but in reality, we have interviewed far too few black applicants in the 10 years that Quill has been operating. That’s not to blame the small pool of applicants – that’s on us to do more to find them.
It is evident from this that our efforts to date have not been enough. Actions speak louder than words and we risk being complicit in a systemic problem if we don’t do more.
As a matter of priority, we will, therefore, be redefining the actions we can take in our commitment to diversity – from utilising search firms that source a more diverse range of candidates, to implementing new training and development schemes within our organisation.
This is not just a moral obligation – we also know that a more diverse company makes better decisions, creates better work and is a richer and more empowering place for us all to work.
One more death like this would be a betrayal of George Floyd and of every other member of the black community who has suffered racism and prejudice. This has to stop. It has to stop now. And it isn’t someone else’s or another country’s problem – it’s our problem – it is our responsibility as individuals, as employees and as business leaders to take the urgent action to ensure this change happens.
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