Black Lives Matter: a statement
The Black Lives Matter Movement has gained momentum across the globe since the terrible killing of George Floyd in the United States. Individuals and organisations are rightly being asked to join the movement, assess their own practices and approach, and commit to addressing racism.
Sometimes it is difficult to know what to say at times like these for fear of saying the wrong thing. However, compassion is one of our key values so, for us, silence is simply not an option.
We are not a political or a campaigning organisation but would like to add our voice in support of those addressing racism globally and make it clear where we stand.
At LionHeart we are very aware that we operate in a mostly white, mostly male and mostly middle class environment, as all of our support and services are focused upon supporting RICS professionals and their families. Things are changing in the industry, especially at entry level but we would be wrong to ignore or deny the fact that the industry is not as diverse as others.
LionHeart opposes discrimination or oppression in any form and we support the worldwide drive to beat racism.
We have been speaking about diversity at LionHeart for a while now because we recognise the lack of diversity within the industry and have taken several actions to address our own approach to this. All our employees have and will continue to receive training in Equality and Diversity. Our own recruitment practices include methods such as ‘blind’ shortlisting for both trustees and employees and we are monitoring the diversity of applications through forms that are separated from the application upon receipt. We recently recruited 4 new trustees and were very clear in our marketing and communications at recruitment that we were encouraging applications from a diverse range of people as we recognised that our board lacked diversity.
We also made sure to place our ads where we thought they might be seen by a diverse range of people.
We realise that we cannot simply make this statement and move on; change will only come through action so we will continue to encourage all of our employees and volunteers to be their whole self at LionHeart. We will also ensure that we discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and what it means to us as individuals and as an organisation in appropriate meetings with both staff and board.
Thank you for taking the time to read this statement. We are not experts, far from it; but we strongly believe that if every person, every organisation, admits that they don’t know it all and haven’t yet ‘got there’ in terms of equality and diversity, and takes the time to be curious and learn, change will come.
Davina Goodchild, CEO LionHeart