Over the past year, Argus has made great strides to promote racial equity in our workplace, to empower our leaders to address unconscious bias and to raise awareness of structural racism. As we continue this journey, we affirm our commitment to being transparent, authentic and a force for positive change in our workplace and community.
An Ongoing Journey
Improving workplace equity is not a linear path. Since the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in 2020 sparked a global call to fight systemic racism, we have turned inward as an organisation to examine our own culture and bias. Under the guidance of our senior leadership, we have embraced diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), implementing tangible goals and initiatives to affirm our commitment to create an equitable workplace for all.
Last year, when we first contributed to this publication, we were at the start of our journey of developing a programme that focused on fostering DE&I at Argus. As a part of this, we recognised the importance of first addressing the specific needs and experiences of the black community. After a period of reflection and deliberation, we have now renamed our BLM committee, Belong BLAC (Black Leaders and Allies for Change) and have built an ambitious manifesto, mission and objectives that will lead our future actions.
Black History Month and Beyond
From anti-racism training for all employees to our Argus DE&I Library, all our initiatives and activities drive our mission of building an equitable workplace, attracting and supporting diverse talent, and fostering a culture of belonging with a focus on Black individuals. We strive to take a deliberate approach, with clear and measurable goals, firm commitments from leadership, and a willingness to adapt and learn as we continue this process.
Our Black History Month celebrations this year reflected this intentional approach. We recognise that racial inequities and bias manifest uniquely in different cultures and locations, and as a business which operates in multiple jurisdictions, we need to be attuned to the needs of our local cultures and communities.
Our events this February in Bermuda included a Freedom Tour in Hamilton with Titan Tours; Generational Wealth Presentations by Argus’ Education & Investment Manager, Angela Joell; Beyond Seascapes: Black Art in Bermuda, a presentation by Unchained on the Rock; and the launch of our new DE&I Library.
Over 100 participants attended, including staff and members of the community. We received insightful feedback from our colleagues, which we look forward to applying towards future programmes.
As we work to change our internal culture, we’ve been actively collaborating with external partners to develop a set of initiatives within Argus which enable us to create productive and courageous spaces, to have more meaningful conversations about race.
Sharing Diverse Perspectives
Our Reverse Mentoring Programme flips the traditional mentoring dynamic, empowering our black employees to become mentors to non-black colleagues. Developed in partnership with Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda (CURB), through one-on-one conversations, employees work together to develop a culture of empathy and create tools for change together.
Promoting Racial Equity and Inclusive Leadership
Earlier this year, we had the honour of hosting Dr. Robert Livingston, a Harvard social psychologist and a leading expert on combatting bias and racism in organisations, to lead four training sessions with the Argus Board, executive leadership team and people managers.
Our leaders underwent training using Dr. Livingston’s PRESS model, a sequential framework and roadmap for working towards racial equity in an organisation through incremental steps. First, we must build an organisational consensus, understand the underlying issues, and develop empathy, and then, finally, create strategies to implement change.
Embracing Courage for Transformative Change
As we continue this journey, it’s abundantly clear that DE&I is not a single event, initiative, or effort. Rather it’s a core value of our company to deliver real, substantive change for our people, clients, and community. We’re committed to our DE&I journey which requires ongoing effort, continuous learning, adaptation and, most importantly, courage from all individuals involved.
Read the 2023-24 Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Bermuda publication here.