How Frontline implemented a racial equity roadmap with proven results
Frontline knew it needed to focus on racial equity as a part of its wider Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy. Frontline’s vision was a culture free from racism, where inequities were addressed. They understood the importance of putting in place a targeted racial equity strategic plan to support and protect the Black, Asian and ethnically marginalised participants in their programme and also within their organisation.
To achieve this vision, the senior leadership team set out the following goals:
To achieve more racially diverse representation in Fronline’s leadership team.
To introduce improved and more targeted DE&I initiatives to support all employees, such as affinity groups, mentoring, training and workshops.
To increase the proportion of participants on the Frontline programme from marginalised ethnic backgrounds.
To encourage, challenge and influence Frontline’s partners, suppliers and all those they work with to be actively anti-racist.
To support and empower Frontline’s ethnically marginalised employees, participants, fellows and other stakeholders. To ensure they achieved these goals and were able to take a data-driven and targeted approach to becoming an actively anti-racist organisation, Frontline partnered with FLAIR.
Frontline was aware of some key inequities they needed to solve across their organisation to advance racial equity for their participants and for their employees.
For instance, there was a lack of confidence amongst White colleagues in speaking about race, for fear of offending their Black colleagues. Frontline wanted more racially diverse leadership, more open conversations around intersectionality and a better understanding of Whiteness, privilege and bias.
They had several initiatives in place to achieve these goals. However, the core challenge they faced was understanding the effectiveness of the initiatives they had implemented and then tangibly measuring progress towards racial equity.
FLAIR’s solution provided all employees with a safe platform to share their experiences, whilst measuring key metrics such as racial awareness and racist behaviours. This was key to opening up honest conversations across the organisation, whilst the data collected provided a clear insight into Frontline’s strengths and weaknesses, with strategic recommendations of what areas to target to drive meaningful change.
"The reason we partnered with FLAIR is because it will give us really good data-backed evidence to make sure the actions we are taking to be anti-racist are the right ones. It also enables the whole organisation to have a voice and share what they think about race in our workplace".
Anoshe Waheed, Head of People, Frontline
FLAIR was chosen to help Frontline lay the correct foundations to measure and progress racial equity. Using FLAIR’s data-backed analytics engine, Frontline were able to identify their areas of strengths and weaknesses to effectively prioritise their time and budgets to drive real change.
The first step was an anonymous, organisation-wide survey. FLAIR’s science-backed survey opened up the conversation on race and ethnicity across the organisation. Using real-world scenarios, the survey surfaced unique employee experiences to map Frontline’s culture. Responses remained anonymous to create a safe space for all employees, gathering data using situational judgement questions to measure anti-racism metrics, such as racial awareness, racist behaviours and inclusion barriers.
FLAIR’s dashboards then turned this data into actionable insights. On a live platform, Frontline were able to visualise their strengths and weaknesses, drill down for more detail, and benchmark their progress year-on-year.
To provide clear direction on the next steps, FLAIR’s technology also turned their data into a Racial Equity Roadmap. A dedicated Customer Success Manager from FLAIR worked alongside Frontline’s leadership team to help them drive targeted action and measure tangible progress.
Frontline implemented every action recommended in FLAIR’s bespoke Racial Equity Roadmap. From simple actions such as name pronunciation links to larger strategic investments, such as creating and hiring a Head of DE&I role. Other key actions taken include:
Implemented an early application period for under-represented groups so they can apply for their program and receive priority support.
Updated their procurement policy for service providers to encourage social and sustainable impact (including racial diversity and inclusion) throughout their supply chain.
Reviewed their recruitment process for coaches and appointed four new coaches from Black, Asian and ethnically marginalised backgrounds to support participants in their programmes.
Created a video highlighting common microaggressions faced by Black people, particularly in the workplace, to inform training for participants, leaders, consultant social workers, Fellows and their internal employees.
The survey also opened up more conversations about race across the organisation and gave White people a greater awareness of their ethnically marginalised colleague's experiences. Overall this resulted in all employees having a greater determination to improve Frontline’s culture.
- 76% response rate across 12 nationalities.
- An increase in positive qualitative feedback that centres around recognition of Frontline’s commitment to anti-racism.
- A clear understanding of voices across the entire organisation.
- Hearing directly from the staff alongside the strategic recommendations provided by FLAIR's solution enabled Frontline to take targeted actions to advance racial equity.
- Data insights to ensure they were focusing on the right areas that would result in tangible change.
- Expert recommendations to put Frontline on the right path to create a truly equitable culture.
- Benchmark data to effectively progress their racial equity strategy year-on-year.