Adeshola Cole, Tritek Consulting Limited
If there is a year any of us will remember, it will be 2020! Life as we know it has been turned completely upside down. From the way we work to the way we socialise, COVID has created a new way of living. Despite COVID keeping people apart, the world has come together to fight for Black Lives Matter and stand united. Now, more than ever companies are becoming more inclusive and working towards creating a diverse yet unified workforce.
Let’s rewind to early March, before our lives completely changed…would you ever have imagined life would have been this way? While COVID has created chaos, it has also been a time for many people to reflect on their lives and perhaps start achieving some of the goals they have always wanted to. Focus on family has been key, and many people have been able to focus on the important things in life. During lockdown, we had the opportunity to really think about what we want from life and prioritise those things. In May, George Floyd was killed by police in the US; many of will remember the news reports and hearing George Floyd call out to have the police remove his knee from his neck as he could not breathe. For eight minutes and 46 seconds, a police officer knelt on George’s neck, killing him. Police brutality against black people in the US is like none other in the world, and while George’s brutal death was just one of many at the hands of the US police, it triggered a worldwide reaction that led us to all stand together and fight for Black Lives Matter. Protests across the world brought millions together, marking a moment that will forever be marked in history.
Following the protests for Black Lives Matter, many companies took a stance on ensuring there is diversity and inclusion of all races. While this should have always been the case, people are holding others more accountable now for their actions and pushing for true equality. More voices are being heard and more opportunities are being given to those who previously may not have been given an equal chance.
The change we have seen, and will continue to push for, can also be demonstrated in those in Nigeria who are fighting to end SARS, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Many people, including the youth, are recognising that change starts with them and they are not afraid to speak out against issues that have long been an issue. #ENDSARS protests in Nigeria and within the UK show that, together, we will take a stand against police brutality and fight for what is right.
Between COVID, Black Lives Matter and #ENDSARS we have begun to evaluate ourselves and recognise that if we don’t begin to make changes now for ourselves, no one is going to do it for us. There are allies across the world fighting to help bring equality to the forefront of the workplace, end police brutality and create real change, but we must ensure that we do not slow down in our efforts. There has been significant change over the past few months in an effort to move forward in a more inclusive manner, but we need to be sure that we continue to actively speak up for what is right and call those out who do wrong. The question is, what changes can you make to ensure we keep moving forward?