HR can make a positive difference

?I would be wasting precious column inches by explaining the many benefits of diversity in the workplace. Any HR professional worth their salt already knows the score. But we are lying to ourselves if we think our workplaces accurately reflect the society we live in.

Following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, we are beginning to properly wake up to the systemic racism that exists all around us, and the uncomfortable truth is that some of us will have benefited from a system that has oppressed others.

It’s not a nice feeling to sit with, but a necessary one to confront. As we head back to normality, whatever that now means, HR will be required to reconsider its diversity strategy and where the problems still lie.

Our cover this month therefore takes a look at the influence of politics in the workplace, and why it offers an opportunity for HR to lead from the front and create an environment that has diversity and inclusion running through its core, and not just as an ‘add-on’ strategy.

This, as well as making sure employees can re-enter the workplace in a safe manner, may feel challenging at times and paralysing at others. But the only way is forward and it is crucially important that HR maintains the strategic role it has developed throughout this pandemic.

By grappling with these difficult truths, and questioning our unconscious biases, we can create a workplace where every employee feels seen, heard and respected.

This may well be the hardest and most tiring moment of your career, but it can also lead to the greatest accomplishment of your professional life.

You are here to make a positive difference in your organisation, so use your power wisely.

Jo Gallacher is editor of HR magazine

This article appears in the July/August 2020 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk.