The Importance of cultivating diversity and Inclusion within Industry

Many of us have used this period of time for reflection and engaging with family, friends and communities in a very special way.

Being British and of Caribbean decent I have been thinking about the long contended and topical issue of diversity and inclusion in the fashion, retail and the sports industry.

“Over the past half-decade, the minds behind the industry’s biggest brands have learned that they cannot afford to be silent. That doesn’t mean they know what to say” The Business Of Fashion

Over the weekend I witnessed a new form of digital activism across social platforms post the tragic death of George Floyd. I thought it was good to see so many global brands/ corporations posting support for racial equality, solidarity and promoting positive societal messaging. The very fact morals and principles are being brought to the fore, means we are really scrutinising the stances taken by public figures and global brands a lot more – in fact anyone that has the influence to amplify a message to a wider audience are being held accountable.

The big question for me would be how much meaningful commitment will be followed up on the aforementioned support. Connecting and supporting specifically Bame communities, new sexuality, disability and age indifference, In my mind real change only happens when brands really backs a cause shifting socially impact.

“Black Britons and those of south Asian origin face “shocking” discrimination in the labour market at levels unchanged since the late 1960s, research has found” The Guardian

Hopefully whilst we all re-calibrate, new initiatives can be taken. I believe businesses should strive to be aspirational and use our platforms, resources and reach out to make positive changes within the industry.

In regards to individuals, it’s important for black people to see themselves reflected in a working environment from board level down. Unconscious bias and prejudice shouldn’t be normalised, racism is a global issue and also a British problem. We need radical change now, moving beyond black squares being placed on social platforms.

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andrewthompson@fablefootworks.com  

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