Change is never is easy. It takes self-reflection, honesty and, most importantly, action. We are on that journey at PRS.
Back in June, our business went through a reset which was heavily influenced by Black Out Tuesday. As a company, we embarked on a day of reflection, education and connection. We started to look inwardly at what we could do to ensure our members and our staff are part of a diverse and inclusive organisation.
We had already set up a Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce which was comprised of volunteer employees who wanted to support our diversity activities. As members of the Taskforce, we knew that there was so much we could do in response to Black Out Tuesday, but first we needed to hear from our Black colleagues, to truly understand what it is like to be a Black person in today’s society. We reached out to our Black colleagues and asked them to share their experiences with us in a safe space, so that we could begin a much needed healing process and understand some of the injustices they face every day.
'We have a way to go, but now have a clear road map ahead of what we hope to create for the future and the Taskforce is committed more than ever to making us a better PRS.'
These focus groups we held (listening circles) were so moving and humbling, and whilst we had been focusing more on D&I over the months leading up to this moment, it felt as though we had reached a new level of connection with our colleagues. This was just the beginning, and to keep the conversation going, the Taskforce arranged a second round of focus groups to concentrate on the changes we need to put in place as a company. The second round of sessions looked at how we could we take the information we had gathered and use it to make meaningful change.
We asked our employees to comment on a range of things: our recruitment process, our Board diversity, how we tackle discrimination internally/externally within the workplace and how we can foster a more inclusive culture while championing diversity.
We had so many ideas and suggestions from our colleagues which are now being prioritised and planned by the Taskforce and our senior leadership.
The Taskforce that hosted these focus groups have now created dedicated D&I workstreams that will work specifically with our colleagues from the Black, Asian, other ethnic minority, LGBTQ, disability, gender and mental health communities.
As part of Black History Month, the Taskforce have organised events and activities internally, and worked with the membership team on some of the external events being hosted for members.
We have a way to go, but we now have a clear road map of what we hope to create for the future. The Taskforce is more committed than ever to making us a better PRS.