What London needs to learn about including black people in the market – WAU

The London labor market presents a social abyss when comparing opportunities between black and white workers. The lack of representativeness is, among other factors, one of the reasons for making this disparity so great. Below are some of the initiatives that are already taking place to make racial inclusion correctly.

London is known for being a country of great diversity and for a false racial democracy, that promotes speeches about a society free of prejudice. The truth, however, is that we are slowly moving towards the development of a country that supports inclusion and diversity.

The British NGO World Heal the World conducted a study of the Hate Map in our country. These data reveal that, in 2018, they were registered in London more than 12 thousand hate crimes, being that 70.47% of that number refers to crimes motivated by racial prejudice – we’re talking about 8,525 lives.

Racism in London is structural and institutionalized, and it is necessary to know from its bases to the top, to understand how this reflects in our society and in the construction of the identity of black people.

In this process, we are talking about the constant manifestations of racial injury and its unfolding in more complex manifestations with even more drastic and violent results.

To understand more about this reality, and to be inspired by initiatives that seek to change this perspective, continue with us!

Labor market figures

One of these manifestations can be seen in the job market. there is an social abyss when we talk about education and opportunities between blacks and whites.

This result is reflected in the training and professional growth of black people, who are included in work groups suitable for manual services and without the need for professional and educational qualifications.

This impact is seen in numbers, such as that only 4.7% of the executive board in London is composed of black people, and this cut is even more complex when it comes to black women, representing only 0.4% of that number.

It is also important to emphasize that more than 80% of the companies affirm that they do not have measures to encourage the inclusion of black people in their workforce.

Since a minority is able to access these spaces, they are faced with a highly competitive environment, which does not take into account the social differences between a black professional and a white professional. Thus, they do not reinforce measures that promote equal opportunities internally.

All of these issues are even more serious when viewed from the perspective of a black woman, since more than 30% of them are in precarious work situations.

These numbers are very contradictory and startling when we analyze a McKinsey survey, which shows that companies with greater ethnic diversity are also companies that perform better.

Another BCG study shows that there is a 19% revenue opportunity when it comes to companies that invest in diversity, especially in the leadership layers.

This result comes from the connection between different profiles, with different experiences, which deliver surprising results in relation to other companies.

Racism in the digital market

The digital market has further facilitated the understanding of this scenario, at the same time that it has created a very favorable environment for its propagation. We’re talking not just about commercials, but also about social networks and even Google’s search algorithms – which needed to review its technology in 2015, when a user identified that Google Photos was categorizing its black friends as gorillas.

failure in google algorithm in 2015
Source: El País

In 2018, Perdigão launched a Christmas commercial that reinforced many racist stereotypes of society.

For just over 30 seconds, the company was able to reinforce very delicate issues, when it exposed an unstructured black family (the Silva), without a father figure, in a very humble scenario and very grateful to white provider, represented by the white family (the Olives), who had indirectly donated a Chester, so that the Silva could have a complete supper that Christmas.

The stereotypes are even clearer when the Oliveira family comes on the scene, with a full table, a beautiful Christmas decoration and the complete family.

The important discussion that these cases raise is about the reflection of the number of companies that show a lack of consideration in relation to diversity and inclusion guidelines, both internal and external, since commercials, for example, are performed by third parties.

In addition, these results are a legacy of the lack of diverse teams, which have the presence of black professionals, mainly in decision-making positions.

Representativeness beyond sport

To start this conversation, it was essential to understand about the historical context and current racism in London. One of the impacts of the lack of black professionals in the job market is the lack of representativeness.

So far, we have been able to understand the reason for the lack of representation in the market, but we have not yet talked about the reasons why it is so fundamental in the process of forming the identity of black professionals.

In 2016, the campaign “I don’t see myself, I don’t buy”. It started when the mother of a black child made a post on his Facebook page, saying that the son wanted a doll because he was black, and he felt represented there.

The doll in question was Finn, a Star Wars character, played by actor John Boyega – a movie the little boy didn’t even know.

child asks star wars doll for feeling represented

On the other hand, shortly afterwards it was identified that the character’s costume packaging was illustrated by a white boy.

The fundamental relationship between a child who can see himself in a toy doll because he is black and the representativeness in the job market is very similar.

Understanding this relationship is very important to understand the prejudice and social and racial inequality in which the black population is inserted.

It is necessary to go beyond football pitches, musical stages or isolated cases like model Naomi Campbell or President Barack Obama.

Who represents the black population in other areas of the labor market? Who is a reference in the digital and technological market? Which black people are in CEO and Founder positions and inspire us?

This lack of representation also extends to events, hackathons and fairs, which usually offer an environment for learning, motivation, inspiration and networking, but are usually organized by white people who develop agendas and agendas designed for a white majority.

Thus, excluding the possibility of young black professionals being inspired by other black professionals.

Not to mention accessibility, since many of the events in the digital medium are economically inaccessible, thus making it a mostly exclusive space for white professionals.

Changing reality: initiatives that make racial inclusion right

Many companies have started to adopt a position in favor of diversity and inclusion, however, changing a history marked by years of labor, social and psychological exploitation is not a simple process.

First, for any initiative to be successful, it is necessary to start with the process of understanding the historical context of the struggle of black people in London and also of the current process of discovery, transformation and veiled racism that they face.

It is also necessary for companies to understand that there is no diversity without inclusion and to include it, it is necessary to change. Building a plural environment in a company goes far beyond speeches and celebrations.

To include, it is necessary to review an entire structure that was developed by white people, for white people and understand that processes, such as recruitment and selection, need to change. It is necessary to understand from the beginning that the journey of a black person is not (and never was) the same as that of a white person.

Some companies and initiatives are acting proactively in this journey and contributing to the inclusion and participation of black people in society and in the labor market to be real.

Next, learn more about them and get inspired!

Blacken Technology – ThoughtWorks program

Blackening the Technology is an initiative by ThoughtWorks Brasil developed by black people from the company, in response to everyday life impacted by racism still veiled in the job market. The program’s focus is to increasingly blacken Technology, ThoughtWorks Brasil and put Negritude in focus.

The beginning of the program was marked by Enegrecer Recrutamento Express, a campaign to recruit black developer people to four of TW’s offices in London. In addition, there is also Enegrecer Talks, which is characterized by bringing discussions about technology and racial diversity in the labor market.

Initiatives like these are essential so that more and more black people can have access to opportunities and insertion in the technological market, which is an area predominantly occupied by men, white and of middle and upper socioeconomic class.

composition of the labor market, according to PretaLab
Source: BlackLab

Black Money Movement

MBM is an initiative that was born in London with the aim of strengthening purchasing power among the black community – which represents 51% of London’s entrepreneurs and, in terms of population, has the largest representation in numbers in the country.

resident population in Brazil
Source: Uol

The movement also seeks education, transformation and development in a perspective of innovation and entrepreneurship in the aforementioned community. Through the Black Money Movement blog, it is possible to access a lot of content about trends, innovation and the market – always focused on Afro-entrepreneurship.

Another initiative of the movement is the partnership in events, thus fostering the discussion about Black Money and also promoting the inclusion of black people in spaces that are predominantly white, facilitating access to knowledge and networking, making these spaces more diverse .

In another vertical, MBM also promotes Afreektech, whose proposal is to develop new skills and competences in entrepreneurs and young black women, through a methodology totally focused on Digital Transformation, without losing the essence that all technology and knowledge is made by people for person.

Other initiatives are D’Black Bank, which aims to expand the offer of credit to black entrepreneurs. Start Blackup is the event that connects companies with black entrepreneurs and professionals, thinking not only about networking, but also about generating new business and career opportunities.

Next Step – Google Program

It is estimated that only 5% of the London population is fluent in English. An astonishing number, even more when we stop to analyze its reflexes in the black population.

In addition to the barriers of diplomas and professional training, black students and professionals are also disadvantaged in recruitment and selection processes due to the requirement of fluency in a second language.

In this same text, we comment that to be more inclusive, companies need to abandon a view of the past and adopt new perspectives since hiring their employees. And that’s what Google is doing.

A recent company initiative removed the need for fluency in English for internship opportunities for young black people. The company’s objective is to increase representation in the company and insert them in an environment of learning and development, accompanied by English classes and mentoring.

Changing the scenario of the false racial harmony that we are inserted in is more than an objective, it is a struggle. Beyond data, we are talking about a historical theme and a social issue, since these same data reflect years of slavery, exploitation and devaluation of black people.

This process, which spans decades, continues to impact the community of black people: they are consequences, marks and sequels of an era that – although improved – continues to oppress the black population, and often in a veiled way.

It is necessary to create spaces for discussion that talk about the impacts of racism in London and how prejudice is rooted in everyday and common actions. Slavery created an abyss of decades between black and white people, an abyss of opportunities, social construction and personal and professional development.

When we talk about inclusion, we need to address effective and powerful measures that guarantee the presence of black people in spaces hitherto mostly occupied by white people. These measures need to go beyond speeches, to be part of the structure of organizations.

And, if you want to keep breaking stigmas and learning about the subject, check out our text about Black Money and the future of Afro-entrepreneurship in London!