Better Together: Genesys UK DEI Council Focuses on Local Schools

Genesys is committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture across the organization. This applies to the existing workforce as well as the future talent pool. To achieve this, we partner with local education providers to support students from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds. We want to be sure they have opportunities to gain the skills and qualifications needed to have a fair representation in the UK workforce.

Representatives and allies of the Genesys UK Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council support our closest local Secondary School in their efforts to ensure an equitable future for their students. We also aim to close the gap in current exam-pass rate statistics, which show that Black Caribbean students rank 17% below the average across all students for attaining strong passes in GCSE English and Maths.

In December 2019, Kings Secondary School held a Big Interview Day to help students develop key interview skills. Activities involved completing a job application form, writing an application letter and participating in a 20-minute interview. The students were then scored on each area of their applications and provided with detailed feedback. This allowed students to practice skills needed to apply for further education courses or jobs.

One DEI member ran a workshop to educate students on the benefits working in IT and to encourage them to choose computer science as a subject of study. To further broaden our support, the group is also examining the lack of inclusion of Black history within the defined National Curriculum taught in UK schools. Making certain this is covered thoroughly is key to building an inclusive and diverse culture — where all key moments and contributions in history are widely known and appreciated.

As part of our work to improve this, UK DEI Council ally Susan Belgrave wrote to Michael Gove, her local Member of Parliament, to have this matter taken up with the Secretary of State who is responsible for education within the UK. His response (shown below) is indicative of the challenges ahead.

Thank you for your email of 10 November, addressed to the Secretary of State, enclosing correspondence from your constituent regarding the National Curriculum. I am replying as the Minister of State for School Standards.

The Department has received a significant amount of correspondence on matters relating to Black and minority ethnic history and the National Curriculum.

There is no place for racism in our society or in our education system. The Government is committed to an inclusive education system, which recognises and embraces diversity and supports all pupils to address racism and have the knowledge and tools to do so.

The Department wants to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. It also wants to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. Schools are required to actively promote fundamental British values, including democracy as well as the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faith and beliefs.

The Department has discussed Black and minority ethnic history with a number of organisations, and we welcome the profile given to its importance by groups and individuals over the years, and the support and resources on teaching they provide direct to teachers. The Department will continue to explore what more it can do to support the teaching of this history and welcome the perspectives of committed individuals and groups, building on previous discussions.

The Prime Minister recognises that more action is needed to understand the key drivers of the disparities identified in terms of the impact of COVID-19 and the relationships between the different risk factors. The Minister for Equalities will be taking work forward on this matter alongside Public Health England and others.