This blog comes from Trinity Chief Operating Officer Clare Montagu and Director of HR and Organisational Development Patricia Mbasani

"Back in the summer the brutal killing of George Floyd and collective outrage that followed it was a stark reminder to many of the structural racism in our society. At Trinity, like thousands of other employers around the world, we felt compelled to look at our own organisation.

We made a public statement where we acknowledged that we should be doing more and committed to rooting out all forms of racism, to recognising what we should be doing better and to act on what we found.

Since then, we have made progress and more plans are in the works to implement change based on what we have learned.

Our first step was to establish a “Black Lives Matter at Trinity working group”, a group of colleagues from across the charity, who volunteered to be part of the group.

The group consists of some who are managers and more who are not. We were delighted to be joined by those who do not usually attend cross-organisational groups, passionate about the group’s goals and keen to contribute. After three meetings so far, we would like to share our progress and plans:

  • Race and racism at work survey – from our first meeting it became clear that there was at times a disconnect between what we at Trinity said and did outwardly and the experiences of staff internally. We decided that to make real change, we needed to give all colleagues a forum where they could be honest and open about their experiences of racism and race-related micro-aggressions.

    Throughout October, we ran a Race and Racism at Work Survey, 100% anonymous, asking colleagues to share experiences and comment on how they were dealt with. More than 100 members of Trinity staff completed the survey. We will share emerging themes from the survey internally and they will be a key driver in how we frame the next part of our response.

  • Black History Month – This year we have worked hard to ensure that remote working was not a barrier to participation. The Black Lives Matter at Trinity group has contributed ideas and content to a new hub on our intranet full of information to read, watch and listen to which has been visited over 600 times by Trinity staff during October. People from across Trinity have shared blogs and enjoyed Black History Month-themed lunches and our four “live podcast” discussions online have been attended by over 30 colleagues.
  • Our action plan – We have started to build a long-term action plan to ensure that there are no barriers to true inclusivity and equality of opportunity at Trinity. To do this we will develop robust processes to identify where racism can occur and deal with it effectively when it does. This will involve changes to policy, procedure and training where it is required, dedicated education and training, reviews into our recruitment and promotional records and heightening awareness of anti-racism internally.

We are closer to understanding how structural racism manifests at Trinity. Starting this work is an important first step but we need to ensure our learning results in action. The Black Lives Matter at Trinity group will continue to play a key role in this. While we have already agreed to take steps and some of this work is already underway, we know that there is more to learn and more to do. We will continue to share our progress."