Our Commitment to Change
Over the past month, the tragic death of George Floyd and the powerful Black Lives Matter protests have forced us to reevaluate our commitment to anti-racism at Banjo HQ. We know that we are not fulfilling our purpose if our brand does not wholly embody equality of representation, equality of opportunity and inclusivity for all. We cannot continue to be passively non racist. We must, and we will, become an inclusive, diverse organisation.
We work across a number of sectors: technology, education and entertainment, in which racial representation and diversity are severely lacking. We recognise that we can and should be doing more to actively change this.
To affirm our commitment to combating racism, we have outlined eight actions to effect change across our company, industry and community. Internally, we are compiling policies that will hold us accountable to these actions so that diversity is built into the fabric of our company. I will report on our progress internally in monthly Diversity, Equality and Inclusion meetings and publicly via our website, twice a year.
We recognise that our actions are not a comprehensive list or a solution to systemic racism. This is a work in progress, and we promise that our endeavors will extend beyond these eight commitments. In the meantime, if you have any feedback, questions or challenges for us, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Boyle, Founder & CEO
Actions to Improve Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at Banjo Robinson
The eight actions we have detailed below focus specifically on racial injustice and supporting Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. However, it is important to note that we seek to broaden the scope of our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion policies for all under-represented and marginalised groups, as we continue to learn and grow from this internal review.
We know that we have a lot to learn, but we are going to keep revisiting this policy and finding ways to implement the changes we wish to see at Banjo Robinson and in the wider world.
1. Review and improve our recruitment methods
Review our recruitment policy and endeavour to diversify our staff team so that BAME individuals are represented at the heart of the business. From this review we will develop a plan of action that sets out what the business will do to change its recruitment practice in the context of its commitment to being anti-racist.
- Review our hiring policies and redevelop our future job descriptions to include equality statements and outline that commitment to our diversity, inclusion and equality policy is an essential job requirement.
- Partner with recruitment agencies such as Radical Recruit to advertise our job vacancies with a much larger, more diverse pool of candidates.
2. Enhance learning & development opportunities at Banjo Robinson
To include yearly external company-wide DE&I training; initiate an internal Banjo Robinson Book Club to ensure all members of the team read and educate themselves on topics of diversity, equality and inclusion; commit to at least one team meeting per month specifically dedicated to discussing new learnings / findings to enrich our understanding of anti-racism.
- Yearly company wide DE&I training, to take place on the 25th May in tribute to George Floyd.
- A member of the team will read a new book each month that focuses on issues of race and racism, and/or celebrates fiction by a writer from a diverse background and feedback notes to the team.
- This will feed into a monthly DE&I meeting; during this we will outline ways as a team that we can put this knowledge into practice and initiate actionable change at Banjo Robinson and within our community.
3. Diversification of Banjo’s international cat pals
To build up the International Cats’ characters and backstories through a wide range of diverse authors. We will seek to eliminate cultural appropriation and focus the Banjo narrative on celebrating diverse cultures and promote narratives of positive BAME empowerment.
- We will celebrate the diverse backgrounds of our international cat family, developing the backstories of 42 cats over the next year.
- Hire BAME authors to develop these characters and backstories.
4. Review social media representation
To ensure that we are representative of BAME children across all of our social platforms and website. Furthermore, ensure that we work with a diverse group of influencers from BAME communities.
- In England 32% of children are from BAME backgrounds*. As such, from 01.07.20, we will aim for at least one third of our social posts to reflect children who are from BAME backgrounds.
5. Review writer representation
To ensure that guest written letters and other products are commissioned by a diverse range of authors.
- In light of the fact that 32% of children in England are from BAME backgrounds, at least one third of our guest letters will be written by BAME authors.
6. Use our social platforms to celebrate the literary work of diverse children’s authors
To promote the literary work of BAME children’s authors through our main social posts, stories and blogs.
- Regular promotion of literary work by BAME authors across all of our social platforms.
7. Partner with children’s charities that support BAME communities
- Confirm a new charity partnership by the end of July, offering a proportion of Banjo Robinson subscriptions to the children supported by the charity of choice.
- Two days per year company-wide volunteering with said charity partner.
- Offer our team members two volunteering days per year to volunteer for a separate charity of their choice.
8. Mentorship Scheme
With Kate, Banjo Robinson founder, to help, advise and guide young BAME entrepreneurs.
- Kate will partner with a charity (such as MEntivity) to mentor 2 BAME entrepreneurs, per year.
Sutcliffe, W., 2020. Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2020. London: Bloomsbury.