Statement from the Dean on Black Lives Matter movement
15 June 2020
Please find below a statement from Andy Lockett, Dean of Warwick Business School, on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Recent events in the US and the subsequent worldwide protests should cause all institutions and businesses to pause and critically examine their actions, especially as George Floyd’s death is one in a litany of racially motivated injustices that have afflicted the US, and which the UK has not been immune from.
At WBS we stand in solidarity with the principles and aims of the Black Lives Matter movement. We cannot passively accept the injustices that exist across higher education. Rather, we need to act to ensure that WBS works to break down the biases, barriers and prejudice embedded in the systems and structures of higher education.
Over the years the University of Warwick has set in motion projects to address these issues and we fully support the University Executive Board and Race Equality Taskforce’s joint statement, which outlines them all.
At a school level, the lack of black representation is one of the issues the WBS Equality & Diversity Committee has been working on. We are the first Business School in the UK to receive an Athena Swan Silver award for our work on gender equality and are the only department in the University with a Foundation Year for under-represented groups that is free for students.
But it is not enough. We need to hear the demands for change, understand them and work with students and staff on building a truly inclusive and representative business school. To help bring about this change the following work will begin immediately:
- We will design and go through a process of listening to all staff and students, opening a number of forums over the coming weeks and months.
- We will work with the University to measure, understand and narrow any student attainment gaps that exist across our programmes.
- Just as we have worked hard to promote the careers of female staff, we will work to specifically understand and positively impact the careers of black staff.
We will report on our progress on a regular basis.
The Black Lives Matter movement represents an important challenge, not only to the leadership of WBS and the Equality & Diversity Committee, but to everyone within the WBS community.
We know that now is a time for real change and together we can make it happen.