Keryn James, CEO, ERM Group
10 June, 2020
I am shocked and saddened by the recent events in the USA. The statement below comes from a video I shared with my colleagues at ERM, which I want to add to the growing number of voices against racism that are spreading across the world.
My message this week has a single focus and that is to respond to the recent events in the United States, which are now reverberating around the world.
I was horrified to learn of George Floyd’s murder by police and the disregard for his life. We know that the tragic event that led to this social upheaval in the United States is also a reality in other parts of the world where structural discrimination pervades.
From the United States, where half of ERM’s employees live and work, to the more than 40 other countries worldwide where we operate, we have watched protests grow as more and more people from all backgrounds take to the streets and virtual platforms to add their voices to peaceful demands for change. It is telling that this has spread so quickly from Minneapolis to other US cities and now across the globe.
I am very aware that I do not live in North America and that I am not a person of colour. Based on my own life and experiences I wondered what to say to you today. I came to this:
Let me be very clear.
ERM condemns any and all forms of discrimination – be that on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other dimension.
We are committed to diversity, equality and inclusion within our company and we seek to work only with clients, contractors, suppliers and peers who share these values.
We support our colleagues who are black, indigenous and people of colour, and everyone standing up to end racism and inequality.
We believe that our actions, both individually and collectively, can make a difference.
We have just held our second Global Inclusion Week with the theme of ‘All In’ for Inclusion. We are all part of this company, we all have a right to be heard, and we all have the right to be respected equally.
If you experience or observe anything different, then you are empowered to speak up. If you witness racism or other forms of discrimination, do not stay silent. Unless we act, these problems will not go away. Together we can prevent discrimination and make ERM the all-inclusive organisation we aspire to be.
Racism is not new. However, the collective power of millions of voices can make a difference. Let the recent events be a catalyst for change – and I encourage you to be part of that.