Dear White Colleagues | @aoadamson on The #SocialRecruiting Show

by | Jun 22, 2020

Racism is a pandemic! (Dear White Colleagues)

This week’s guest was the inspirational Abi Adamson. To understand the full context of our conversation “Dear White Colleagues”, I advise you to watch Abi’s video which she posted on LinkedIn – click here. As we enter into a global debate about how we, as a society, will imagine and create a world free of anti-Blackness. Where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive (Black Lives Matter).  Our conversation with Abi centers around her contribution to the conversation and how we can be allies.

Abi is a talented talent acquisition professional and started her career in the film industry following on from her degree.  However, having experienced poor quality recruiters as an employee, she decided to “be the change you want to see”.

So, we begin the show by discussing the catalyst for Abi’s video,

“I woke up one morning and I was exhausted! So I wanted to make a video to highlight how difficult it is to be black at work”. 

She  discusses how this has impacted her mental well-being and health. She adds, “I wanted people to understand that this is everyday pain, everyday trauma and for me, my mental health was dragged along the floor”. Above all as the recruitment, talent acquisition, and HR & people community, do we want this to continue, or do we want to ensure meaningful change?

Culture add as opposed to culture fit

Discussing lived experiences, even some of her closest friends and colleagues weren’t aware of her challenges she was facing daily in the workplace.

“You show up to work, you deliver and you do a great job. All the while you’re walking down the street crying because people are saying racist things to you”.

Whilst acknowledging that these same people ask her, “why didn’t you say anything to us”.  The question surely should really be, why weren’t we aware of this, and if we were, why didn’t we take action?

Focusing on the recruitment process and the potential for bias. Abi refers to the commonly used piece of feedback, “I don’t think they are going to fit into our culture”. How many times, as recruitment and TA professionals have we heard these words? She adds that her approach is less culture fit and more “culture add”. To sum up,  a far more positive view on what someone is adding to the business!

If that wasn’t enough, below you’ll hear Abi talk about:

  • Racism in the workplace is still a reality
  • The power of lived experiences
  • A definition of microaggression
  • A definition of racial gaslighting 
  • Different types of unconscious bias
  • How effective is performative allyship?
  • How broad is your understanding of diversity?   

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