Leading & Taking Action Against Racism
It matters. Black lives matter. The topic matters. Conversations with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) matter. I’m Canadian. Born to immigrant parents from India. I am the founder, and CEO of this company. Our senior leadership team is diverse between male and females in the most senior roles, and our second in command, our chief operating officer is Canadian, Black with immigrant parents from Jamaica. Our staff represents people from over 15 countries and speak over 18 languages.
It has taken me some time to put my thoughts on paper on the movement that has grown on a global scale. I’ve always operated with the mindset that the colour of your skin doesn’t dictate your success. Maybe I was naive to think that we are already doing our part, living what everyone is fighting for. But the reality is, this is different. This is about generations old systemic racism. This is about black people not being treated as equal and nobody batting an eye. This is about positions of power holding onto a norm that is not acceptable. This is about a tiered system of acceptance, which should no longer be tolerated. This is about walking into corporate events and realizing that you stick out. Realizing that you don’t look like everyone else, and that no matter how confident you are, you struggle not to think of yourself as slightly less.
We as a company stand against racism of any sort. We stand for diversity, and most importantly, we are acting on this through the make-up of our senior leadership team and our staff who make us a proud Canadian company. We have a voice, and we will let it be heard. We will not stand by and say it’s not our problem. We will challenge the norms. This isn’t a public relations statement. This document has not been vetted or sent for revisions. This is what I’ve always stood for and accepted nothing else. I’ve written this on my own, with my thoughts, my emotions and my experience.
I challenge other leaders and companies to do the same. Look in the mirror and provide opportunity. Ask yourself the tough questions, and don’t be afraid of the answers, but rather look at them as opportunity to make a change for better.
I’m grateful to be a parent. I’m grateful to be leading by example, having conversations with our kids and not shielding them from the reality of the world. I am encouraging everyone to have the conversation, start it at home, ask questions, be curious, educate yourself. It’s okay to not know all the answers but it’s not okay to turn a blind eye.
Moving forward, I will personally be challenging our suppliers, our banks, our advisors, our accountants and all the companies that work with us. Empty corporate statements will no longer be accepted.
We are all human. We are all equal. It’s never too late to make this a reality.
Chief Executive Officer