“Race is a fiction. Racism is not.”
I came across a not so recent document / project called « Action to fight against hiring discrimination« .
Why not so recent?
Because the public body in charge of it, was still named « ORBEM – the Territorial Employment Pact in the Brussels-Capital Region » (now called ACTIRIS).
You can access the archive here
1. Project’s description:
3. Opportunities identified:
- Existence of unexploited reserves of skills and talents;
- Creation of a team composed of persons of different origin and training
- Improvement of the corporate image;
- Preparation of a management of diversity, in view of the demographic trends of the Region;
- Mobility in the company and promotion opportunities.
To sum up, all the participants to that project from the « business world » came to the conclusion that
4. Obstacles analyzed in greater depth:
- Preference of customers;
- Arbitrary preference of department heads;
- Implicit or explicit choice of the personnel manager;
- Resistance of workers’ representatives;
- Refusal to hire on the basis of negative prior experience;
- Absence of adequate evaluation of recruiting procedures.
5. My two cents on the identified obstacles:
« Preference of customers »;
- Good enough excuse? As a reminder, business people, discrimination on the basis of « race », « origin » and other ‘protected’ criteria is illegal!
- Also, what about your corporate values as an organisation?
« Arbitrary preference of department heads »;
« Implicit or explicit choice of the personnel manager »;
« Resistance of workers’ representatives »;
« Absence of adequate evaluation of recruiting procedures »;
- As the CEO or executive, board member, you set the tone and are responsible for the culture, which behaviors are you rewarding?
- And what about accountability for example? Which KPIs are you monitoring?
- Are you aware of the trade unions’ initiative « Racism, game over«
- Last but not least, about your reputation and risk management, you would not be the first brand to face a crisis management if a candidate decides to run a test on you (sending two CVs differentiating by name or city, country of birth for example or asking a friend to apply at the same time). Be aware also of the new laws / policies on the regional level in Brussels and on the federal level that enable testing and mystery shopping, under strict conditions.
« Refusal to hire on the basis of negative prior experience »;
- From a previous negative experience, do you extrapolate this experience as a stereotype applicable to ALL individuals / talents from a given (socioeconomic) group in society?
This topic is usually evaded in a ‘multi-racial’ setting… Nothing new… « Uncomfortable »…
Many corporate leaders pay lip service to inclusion and diversity in Brussels.
As a leader of your organisation, are you a racist?
If your answer is « no » and your team as currently constructed, is monochromatic / homogeneous, time to realize that Brussels has changed. « The train has left the station ». You may not feel right or be where you want to be with your diversity agenda, get your mind right, get started if you want to position your company well for the future.
Any comment, question or suggestion? Welcome.
Talent has no race!