I wanted to share two posts I made last week in the aftermath of the terrible killing of George Floyd in the USA, and through the recent global turmoil and protests. I acknowledge that these are only words, but stay tuned for tangible actions that will come in the following weeks and months.
The first post I put on social media and on the internal MarketFinance community channel slack:
Like many of you I have been very upset and saddened at what’s happening in the USA. As someone of mixed background from Kenya and Switzerland I was always raised to never even consider colour as a barrier to achieving what you want in life, and to treat everyone with respect and as equals. I’ve spent enough time in so many different places across the world to know that diversity and our ability to appreciate different cultures is what makes us human and gives rise to so many great things. It’s very disappointing to see the response resulting in more conflict and violence across the country. As President, Trump now has a duty to unify the country. By encouraging his country to be at war with each other in his partisan way, that doesn’t make America Great Again, it makes the USA divided and weaker in the eyes of the world. I really hope the violence stops on all sides and there can be some proper ways for the huge injustices within American and global society to be addressed (there is still much work to be done).
And following a leadership discussion on Thursday morning, the whole leadership team at MarketFinance signed and sent this message around internally to the whole team:
We wanted to write to you all and strongly express as a company and as individuals our anger and horror at the murder of George Floyd. We can only imagine the pain and heartache that our colleagues right here at MarketFinance are feeling at this moment and our thoughts are with all of you.
This event has triggered a much larger and coordinated global response; we’re now seeing people in London and in cities all over the world take to the streets to express their opposition to any form of discrimination and inequality that still exists in our societies. We stand in full support behind this movement.
Sadly, institutionalised racism impacts and destroys many lives all over the world including here in the UK. We are all aware that there are still parts of our society who suffer this disproportionately across all aspects of their life, including, for many, in their workplace.
Here at MarketFinance we are striving to build a diverse workplace culture, not only to ensure that everybody with whom we work is treated respectfully and equally at all levels of the company, but also because we believe diversity is a winning ingredient of being the best in what we do and who we are. Events of this last week are causing us to question whether we have done enough to reach our destination, and how there is likely still much work to be done.
While we have written policies set out in a legal framework around equal opportunities, we want to go a step further to double down on building a culture that has humanity, empathy and equality at its core. So rather than just talk about it, we want to act. We are going to seek ideas on how we can improve further from our team, our customers, our partners and our board on how we can become the best place to work for people of all backgrounds. And we’re going to act on the best of them.
So, we start by saying that Black Lives Matter and we’ll use this as a platform to set up a forum next week to take on feedback of what we can do. We encourage as many of you as possible to participate with your views and concerns, and our aim is to have an actionable list of next steps that over time will make our business stronger and better. In the meantime, if people want to talk about anything connected with this please feel free to reach out to whoever you want in your teams or the People Team. We hear you.
Anil, Ilya, Tom S, Konstantin, Eoin and Dai.
Co-Founder of MarketFinance