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Comments and opinions2 October 2023

Black History Month 2023

Clarion's Group Director of Corporate Services, Catrin Jones, talks about this year's Black History Month.
Official artwork for Black History Month 2023

“Here at Clarion, we are not only committed to acknowledging and celebrating Black History Month but envision a future where Black history is part of our everyday narrative.”

Catrin Jones, Group Director of Corporate Services
By Catrin Jones, Group Director of Corporate Services

As we embark on a new Black History Month, I have taken the opportunity personally to reflect on the journey we have undertaken towards fostering diversity, inclusion, and empowerment within Clarion. This is also as an opportune moment to reinforce our commitment to driving change and making a lasting impact on the lives of our employees.

The theme of Black History Month this year is ‘Saluting our Sisters’ and pays homage to black women who had contributions ignored, ideas appropriated, and voices silenced. Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of working with many inspirational black female colleagues. However, I recognise that even today there still not a level playing field for my black counterparts.

This must change. Our involvement in the G15 Accelerate program has been instrumental in propelling our mission to create a workplace that supports individuals from diverse backgrounds to fulfil their potential. We firmly believe that by working in partnership with industry leaders, we can enhance our practices, amplify our impact, and ensure that opportunities for career progression are accessible to all.

Another step we have taken at Clarion is to adopt the Rooney Rule, a significant move in promoting diversity within our leadership ranks. This rule, inspired by the NFL, ensures that at least one black or ethnically diverse candidate is included in the interview process for every senior management position we recruit. By implementing the Rooney Rule, we aim to break down barriers and create pathways for black women to excel in leadership roles, adding valuable perspectives and experiences to our decision-making processes.

Recognising the importance of succession planning, Clarion is committed to supporting black women in their professional development and career growth. We understand the unique challenges they face in the workplace and are actively working to remove any barriers hindering their progression. Our targeted programs will provide mentorship, skills enhancement, and networking opportunities to foster an environment where black women at Clarion can thrive and excel.

But our focus on supporting black women does not end there. We wholeheartedly believe that true inclusivity means creating an organisation that aims to tackle systemic barriers and embed diversity into the fabric of our company. Through our internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce - our REACH network - we are engaging with our black employees to gain insight into their experiences and actively address any issues they may face.

Here at Clarion, we are not only committed to acknowledging and celebrating Black History Month but envision a future where Black history is part of our everyday narrative. It is essential that we continually reflect, learn from those who have paved the way, and act to ensure equality of opportunity for all.