Black History Month at Form3

People· 2min

November 14, 2022

On an industry level, we know that the landscape is bleak when it comes to diversity. That’s why we felt that it was important for us to recognise and celebrate Black History Month as part of our Form3 Social Calendar, with the caveat that it’s not just a month-long affair, but rather an embedding of the ongoing celebration of diversity and culture into our company DNA.

Time for change: actions not words

The theme for this year’s Black History Month was ‘time for change: actions not words’. This is a really poignant theme, as too often, organisations and even individuals will embrace diversity and inclusion on a surface level, without taking practical action and steps to actually create change within themselves, or their organisations.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we absolutely recognise that as an organisation, we are at the very beginning of our journey, but being an inclusive, anti-racist, diversity and culture-celebrating organisation is something that is so important to us. We want to foster an environment that anyone feels that they can be a part of, regardless of any personal characteristics or traits that they feel define them. We want to celebrate and embrace our differences as we continue to scale. We’re pro-actively taking steps to educate ourselves and our colleagues on what it means to operate in a fully inclusionary way from our most junior to our most senior hires.

 Here are a few of the things that Form3 is doing to promote diversity and inclusion:

  • Salary benchmarking – we regularly benchmark salaries to ensure these are consistent with local markets
  • Starting to collect data on diversity statistics, where international laws allow
  • Prioritising applications from diverse hires in our Fr3shers recruitment processes
  • Championing the use of Learning Days for activities relating to diversity and inclusion
  • Ability to choose to swap bank holidays
  • Offer remote-first and flexible working to all of our hires; supporting non-traditional working patterns and working hours
  • Launching Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging training for our managers and employees
  • Partnering with Redi School of Digital Integration and Stemmettes to offer our time and resources to educate individuals from different backgrounds

As part of our Form3 Social Calendar celebration, we put a spotlight on two books by black authors in our book-club Slack channel: Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, enabling employees to purchase the books using their Learning and Development allowance or downloading them to their Perlego account.

As Inclusion Officer, I was able to use my Learning Days and Learning Allowance to attend the Black Young Professionals 2022 Leadership Conference and London Tech Week’s Black History Month celebration – two events filled with invaluable insights from entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs, artists, politicians, actors, TV presenters (and the list goes on!) on their professional and personal journeys as black individuals in their industry.

To finish off the month, we had the amazing Flavilla Fongang come to talk to us about her personal and career journey. It was a really great session where colleagues were able to ask questions around challenges she has faced due to race and bias, her experience as a black woman in the tech industry, and how to build your ‘tribe’. A key takeaway from this session for me was when describing how to create your own ‘tribe’ Flavilla mentioned that it was about creating something that benefits everybody, and not just yourself. That’s certainly the direction I see Form3 progressing in, when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and I’ll be keen to report back on our next moves in this space in the coming months!

Written by

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Jessica Bradley Senior People Partner and Inclusion Officer

Senior People Partner and Inclusion Officer, based in the UK.