Written by on . Pegasus.

When we know better, we will do better

Claudette Malone discusses the importance of diversity and inclusion in our industry.

It’s safe to say that for many of us, ‘staying at home’ has been a period for deep self-reflection. A pause which is pushing us to evaluate who we are as individuals, what do we need to survive, and what do we want in our lives to thrive and be happy. It’s shown us what is important and what we take for granted.

George Floyd’s brutal death sharpened that focus.

We all saw as an unarmed black man had the life squeezed out of him by a white police officer – who knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds – a US police officer who took an oath to preserve life.

This may have been the first time some have seen such police brutality outside of civil unrest footage … but it’s certainly not the first time it has happened. For many black people around the world, this is a threat they are faced with regularly.

Riots erupted across the US and as more people around the world were moved to horror, they too took action and the protests spread to cities across the world.

Something in the world’s consciousness changed as George Floyd’s name passed through the lips of thousands of people, filled newsfeeds and further fuelled the Black Lives Matter movement. It was so powerful that people who had been social distancing so carefully for months were moved to leave their homes and stand in solidarity to show their anti-racist intentions. Saying ‘I’m not racist’ was no longer enough.

As part of reflection in lockdown, this set of events has many acknowledging their privilege, coming to terms with their ignorance and wanting to educate themselves. But this is so much more than people ordering more books off Amazon or watching documentaries on Netflix. This moment is a conscious awakening, which is filtering into our professional lives too. At the time of writing, many companies are taking steps to address racial inequality, diversity and inclusion issues in the workplace.

Over the past few weeks many views have been shared across the media, between friends and families, and I’m proud to say in my workplace, at Pegasus. It has given us an opportunity to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘are we doing enough to make us a truly diverse and inclusive workforce?’

I love working for Pegasus and all that ‘Inspiring Healthy Decisions’ stands for but, deep down, I also believe there is more we can do to be more diverse and inclusive. As a team, we have never shied away when the work gets tough and we certainly won’t shy away now!

The famous black US author, Maya Angelou, once said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Over the past few weeks, my colleagues and I (including our Managing Director and Leadership Team) have vowed to live this mantra. We’re ready to learn more and then do better. We all want to be better for our colleagues, we want the industry we work in to do better to attract professionals from BAME groups, and we want to work with clients who share our values of diversity and inclusion.

I’m excited to be part of a team that is unapologetic about our commitment and as the diversity and inclusion champion, I’ll be leading the charge to ensure we are delivering real change.

The journey that lies ahead is one of hope and optimism for us, and I can’t wait to be back here to provide an update on our progress towards ‘doing better’.

 

Claudette Malone is a Senior Account Manager in the Pharma team. She is a public relations professional with more than 17 years’ communications experience across a variety of roles within the private and public sector in healthcare, public health, wellbeing and major incident emergency response.