7th Jun 2021
3 Min Read

PODCAST | Ep.5 The Great Awakening

Elle Bradley-Cox
Elle Bradley-Cox
Diversity & Inclusion

Diving in to another topic from our 2021 World Changers report, Elle Bradley-Cox explores the rise of activism.

Switched on, tuned in, politically aware. Woke. Every generation has its own expression for activism. Whatever you call it, 2020 was one of those landmark turbulent years when it took an angry and bloody leap forward. Being locked down made us wake up.

A year on from the death of George Floyd, and in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, political scandals, social unrest and a burgeoning climate crisis where black, minority and indigenous communities are disproportionately affected, how much has really changed? We may be louder at vocalising the injustices we see in the world, but it doesn’t stop them happening.

And as the slow pace of change and reform causes our frustrations to mount, we often look to our employers, hoping to see them throw their considerable power and weight behind the causes we care about. Too often, they’re found wanting.

Elle Bradley-Cox joins head of client experience and D&I champion Russ Norton and senior writer and sustainability maven Jacey Lamerton to answer the question, can we really ban this politics from the factory floor? And should we keep the status quo as we pretend to embrace all views? Or no views at all? Whatever we decide, internal communicators are in the seat of power.

Guest interview

Sally Bucknell, Director, Diversity & Inclusiveness at EY

    Want to skip to a specific section? Here‘s what we talked about:

    00:22 Intro to the episode.

    01:50 Roundtable with Elle, Russ and Jacey, exploring the rise of employee activism.

    • 01:54 We‘re living in emotionally, politically charged times. Companies are jumping on bandwagons, trying to keep up. What impact is this having in the workplace?
    • 04:05 Is a sense of polarisation and the fear of cancel culture stopping conversations from happening?
    • 07:13 Are there two camps - the fatigued and the disengaged?
    • 08:20 Let‘s talk about the Basecamp controversy and the ensuing backlash
    • 10:16 Do you think Basecamp‘s fear was attack from within? Is that justifyable?
    • 14:47 Do we have a generational clash when it comes to activism?
    • 20:16 Internal comms is in the seat of power. How do we make sure that we‘re being authentic?
    • 24:22 If you can identify the causes that really matter to you as an organisation, does this lead into better business performance?

    26:05 A conversation with Sally Bucknell, EY, about amplifying social justice in the workplace.

    • 26:38 The turbulence of the past year has seen a rise of activism, both in and outside the workplace. Gut reaction - is this a good thing?
    • 27:26 Are you an activist? And do you think there are any topics which are off limits?
    • 29:36 We can be quite choice about the channels we use to amplify issues. How do we land on the right format?
    • 31:00 How have the events of the past year expanded your remit and what you think about when planning for your people?
    • 32:57 We‘re all at different stages of engagement. How does this look at EY? And can we engage people who don‘t think these issues impact them?
    • 35:57 It‘s brilliant that your clients are actively asking for greater diversity. Is that a recent change?
    • 37:38 You have such an engaged population at EY. Have you had any trouble keeping up momentum?
    • 40:33 Have you been surprised by the voices coming forward in the organisation?
    • 42:36 Who would you nominate as your 2021 World Changer?

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