In May 2020, George Floyd was brutally murdered on the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota by police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on George’s neck for 9 minutes while arresting him.
Despite his now infamous pleas of “I can’t breathe”, George tragically passed away in police custody, sparking large scale protests across the world, marking a seminal moment in the campaign for racial equality.
Since then, while people have rallied around campaigns and movements such as Black Lives Matter, racial abuse and discrimination is unfortunately still a prevalent part of society every day. This was as evident as ever following the horrific abuse hurled towards football stars Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho, following England’s agonising penalty shootout defeat against Italy in the final of Euro 2020.
At Vanti, rather than shouting about what we will do, we aspire to be a team which practices what we preach and puts words into actions. We want to be more than a company which changes its logo to show support to campaigns against discrimination.
We also understand that as a business we should always strive to improve, which is why shortly after the murder of George Floyd, we created our Tackling Racism group, where our team are able to voice feelings of overwhelm, sadness, anger, and frustration, share resources and discuss what we as individuals and as a business could do to be more proactive in our own fight against racial injustice.
As part of this we have conducted an employee wide survey to understand our team better, and the data which we receive will be used to help shape the vision we have for the future both in terms of any training we plan to offer, policies we introduce or generally raising awareness of how we can all be better.
We’re lucky to have a team at Vanti which cares for one another and has a genuine, positive attitude to making our workplace as safe and friendly as possible. We also know this is something we should continuously be striving to educate our team on and improving, which is why we’re also planning to work closely with expert groups outside of the business to ensure we are thinking of new ways to increase awareness regarding discrimination.
As a business and an industry, we know we have a long way to go. In 2019, Black people made up only three per cent of the UK tech workforce – and only 2.6 per cent of UK technology company board members were from ethnic-minority backgrounds. This is something we want to play an active role in improving.
And while our journey at Vanti is only just beginning, it is something we are committed to, to continue to make working with us a positive experience for everybody and to be the best team we can possibly be.