“Let’s boil it down.
D&I is critical. It gives us ways to recruit, welcome and include people regardless of socioeconomic background, neurodiversity, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion etc. It’s non-specific and often a matter of pride for organisations that do it well.
BLM, on the other hand, is about systemic racism and inequality – specifically, the exclusion of black people from benefiting from opportunities that are afforded to others. It calls for more support for those who are under-represented, unsupported and underserved more often (racial equity), so that they can finally get ahead.
To really illustrate the difference, think again to Floyd. He died because of racism, not because there was a lack of diversity in his neighbourhood.
In a business context, organisations don’t lose out on amazing black talent because of a lack of D&I initiatives. They lose out because of unconscious racism, biases and systems that hold the talent back.
In most cases, D&I isn’t mature enough yet to tackle the roots of racism and inequality. D&I has proven to be most successful when establishing 50/50 gender splits across departments or recruiting with the pay gap in mind or getting people to adopt non-white catch-alls like “”BAME”” to improve “”ethnic minority”” representation (which, unsurprisingly, fell to just 12% in our industry in 2019 due to a lack of appeal).
While D&I is doing extremely important work, it needs to become more woke and more honest if it’s going to be the go-to place for race. And with BLM so new to the agenda, we will need to dedicate the time to get it right. ”