World events during 2020, particularly the murder of George Floyd and the unequal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, have confirmed that an overt commitment to anti-racism is both timely and necessary from the British Council.
Over the last few months our leadership team have been working with British Council colleagues from across the world, as well as our specialist Diversity Unit, to produce an Anti-Racism Action Plan. As a global organisation we must become anti-racist in both our culture and practices.
We will strive to give colleagues and everyone we engage with the opportunity to achieve their potential, regardless of race, ethnicity or background.
We will aim to dismantle barriers across our organisation and build a more inclusive and representative workplace and leadership that embraces diversity, calls out discrimination and puts equality at its heart.
Our Anti-Racism Action Plan includes our priorities over the coming months. These priorities will continue to be refined and developed with input from colleagues all around the world. These priorities are:
- Improving our learning and understanding about racism/s and its impact.
- Supporting a more inclusive organisational culture that prioritises anti-racist actions and behaviours, leadership development, and improved ways of listening to and acting on colleagues’ feedback and concerns.
- Human resource (HR) policies and practices that are reviewed, revised and undergo equality screening and impact assessment (ESIA) to ensure they promote inclusion and anti-racist principles.
- A greater diversity of nationality and race in our global leadership
- Programmes, products and services that are deliberately anti-racist and inclusive in their development and delivery, consistent with our commitment to decolonise our work.
Change does not happen in a vacuum, and the commitment and input from colleagues across all 110 countries that we work in, is vital to create the anti-racism future of the British Council.