I started a new job recently after one year of searching and three unsuccessful interviews. Luckily for me, I got exactly the role I wanted in the exact type of organization I was hoping for. Actually, I’m not going to say I’m lucky because I work hard and that’s what got me the job.
Anyway, in my previous job, the first day I started (summer 2018) it didn’t really dawn on me that there is no BAME (Black, Asian or minority ethnic) staff. For the record, the department I worked in had 29 people and the entire building had around 150 people. I was happy to be in my first full-time job and all I wanted to do was make friends, network, and learn.
During the George Floyd incident and the Black Lives Matter protest, it caused many organizations to reflect on their BAME policies. Quite a few organizations were coming out with statements on how they do not support racism in any shape or form — including my organization. I was part of a BAME mailing group and they were fairly impressed with the CEO’s response to everything that is happening surrounding the BAME community.
I decided to reflect on my own organization and that’s when it dawned on me. There’s only me in the department who’s BAME. I’ve been in this organization for nearly three years and there’s not one person who’s been hired within my department — aside from me — who’s BAME. Why is this? Are they not making it past the shortlisting stage? Are there simply no BAME people applying for the jobs we advertise? Was I just employed to show that there’s (an extreme lack) of cultural diversity within the workplace?
Within the entire building— approximately 150 staff — at the beginning of my time in this organization there were around eight of us. At the beginning of 2021, I could only count 4/150 staff being BAME. That’s a scary figure.
Just for the record, those whom I worked with in my old job never made me feel marginalized or acted in a derogative manner towards me. I’m a very clued up girl and would notice any sneaky remarks or side comments and thankfully I can confirm I had never been a victim of…