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Inequality, Injustice and Leadership

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Dear Colleagues, Friends and Clients,

As we enter the first week of June (and the 11th week of Pandemic measures), increasing numbers of (socially distanced) Black Lives Matters protests around the world are being organised following the murder of George Floyd. There has been a stream of debates, think-pieces and articles about the sources of inequality, injustice and privilege.

We have long known, in our work, that health inequalities - in other words living with bad health, dying younger and earning less - are very closely aligned with social injustice. The Pandemic has sadly served to reinforce this in a particular and very sobering headline - ‘Coronavirus: Black and Asian ethnic groups up to twice as likely to die with Virus, says Public Health England’. The Sky News article went on to say that people from black and asian ethnic groups are twice as likely to die with Covid-19 than those from a white British background. Furthermore, the article questions why 72% of NHS deaths are BAME workers. Dr Habib Naqvi, the NHS director for workforce race and equality, said:

"The fact that a high number of black and minority ethnic staff are dying from this pandemic is a worry for us.

"It's a challenge for us but we need to rise to that challenge and what we need to do is look at what we can put in place right now to support our staff."

As a leadership consultancy, developing leaders in the NHS, public service and communities - this has to be making every leader stop, think and act very differently.

Ultimately our work at Prospect is about having a fairer, healthier society by developing the organisations, teams and individuals who deliver services to our communities. This requires great leadership, living clear values to achieve what their organisations exist for. In our coaching work and leadership programmes we always begin with the individual and their personal values and talk about the importance of reflection, courage and learning.

My encouragement this week, and I will be doing this myself, will be to encourage people to think about how their personal values and priorities translate into making a difference to inequality and injustice (try using this Ikigai tool) - and in our resources this week we include a list of films and documentaries for personal reflection and education about anti-blackness, injustice and racism, more of which can be found here.

This link, which provides an overview of different models of leadership that include an emphasis on values and morals, will be useful to colleagues and coaches to encourage the conversation.

Donna and Team​

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