Below are responses to a selection of questions that were received during the Diversity and Inclusion in UK Nuclear 2020 Online Conference. The responses have been provided by Patrick Herbert, Nuclear Engineer, nucleargraduates
Question: Hurtful responses on social media prevent people to speak out to promote Equality Diversity Inclusion (EDI), in fear of backlash. How should people be held accountable for their words on social media?
Response: This is very tricky from an employer, employee perspective. People should be held accountable by having to summit National Insurance numbers; therefore, any hate speech can be tracked to that individual; – and banning them from platforms leads to a lifetime ban and not that individual just setting up another account. This does shift the focus away from us and to the platform unfortunately.
However, I am aware of some fantastic organisations that want to hold social media platforms to account for hate speech. The trick is they alert advertisers to hate speech on that platform and advertisers (99% of the time) threaten to withdraw from the platform until that hate speech is removed. One of them is called “Stop Hate for Profit (Facebook ad boycott). More information can be found by listening to “Reasons to be Cheerful” podcast, episode 148. In the meantime, don’t buy anything from adverts you see on social media platforms that allow hate speech.
Now what if words are written on social media are by an employee of the company? I should hope other members of the company would report the individual. I should hope the company can suspend that individual without pay and pay for sensitivity training for that individual (this option is very common in sport and entertainment circles). Even better would be if companies paid for sensitivity training as part of every new employees’ induction into the company.
Question: What are your best tips for improving inclusion day-day?
Response: Be aware of people’s differences and opinions. Try and actively include people in conversation and activities. Be conscious of those around you always. At the end of the day reflect on what you did to include others in the company.
Also call people out on bad Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) behaviour.
Question: How do we get naysayers and adversarial individuals to D&I to engage, empathise and become proactive advocates?
Response: This is a very basic answer, but education is really the only way. Enforce sensitivity training and show people the video of Frank Douglas from the conference ( I thought he was excellent)!!!
On a slightly different note, I think conferences like this shouldn’t be just for the “I want to come along to this crowd”. I think most people attending a D&I conference are ahead of the curve in D&I based issues. Companies should randomly select individuals to attend to better spread D&I awareness to everyone. Therefore (through random selection) naysayers and adversarial individuals will be forced to learn in the conference environment. Failing that, they will at least be further outnumbered by the fact more people will be educated in D&I issues, rather than just people already aware of the issues in that area.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to these questions Patrick
Patrick was one of our interviewees featured at the Diversity and Inclusion in UK Nuclear Conference 2020. You can read more about the conference here. You can view the video featuring Patrick and other interviewees here.
Responses prepared and published: August 2020
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