One year ago, the world was shocked as a forty-six-year-old black-man, George Floyd, was killed by police, on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. This killing, and the resulting impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, has become a pivotal moment in the global fight against racism.
How have things changed for our brands?
As a media business, we know to be silent is to be complicit and we have a responsibility to our audiences, advertisers, partners and people to bring awareness to these matters. The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing of George Floyd highlighted ever-present issues of systemic racism and the unjust treatment of Black People around the world. This has prompted our brands to reflect on the power they possess to help drive long-awaited change, and how they could make a difference by shining a spotlight on the issue and continuing important conversations.
We caught up with our 'Take A Break' team to learn more about what has changed for them:
“In the last year, we have thought deeply about how to respond and how to increase diversity across the whole of the Take a Break brand. We have made sure as many people from as many different backgrounds are represented in the magazines as often as possible – from stories, to competitions to health reports and campaigns – shining a light on their unique experiences.
As part of our ongoing efforts include increasing the diversity of our cover and fashion models, focusing real-life features on issues specific to different communities, such as the hidden bias against black women in the beauty industry, and we are about to introduce new columnists to the magazine to increase our ability to talk to readers about their experiences as women from all backgrounds”
Here is a breakdown of what some of our radio brands are doing to commemorate this important occasion:
Across many of our audio brands including Absolute Radio, Planet Rock, Kerrang and Magic we will be commemorating the anniversary of the killing of George Floyd through news reports throughout the day.
Bauer’s news team has used its archive resource to put together special reflective roundups which chart the events of the year since George Floyd’s death and hear from campaigners who still think there is more to be done.
News bulletins on our national stations will lead on this content, as well as drawing throughout the day from the Hits Radio Brand Network stations’ teams of local reporters, who will be out in areas across the UK recording the events happening around the nation to mark the anniversary
Jazz FM started the conversation early by holding a special one-hour program over the weekend in the Jazz FM Voices strand reflecting on the past year:
Jazz FM Voices: In The Wake with Kamara Dyer Simms:
“Discovering how jazz music resonates with grief, refusal and abolition in the Black radical sound tradition, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, and many, many others. Featuring music from across the decades. From icons Nina Simone and Billie Holiday - to our contemporaries, Shabaka Hutchings and Nubya Garcia. The story behind George Floyd and so many others is intrinsic in our musical DNA and we’ve done a lot to reflect our community in so many ways since last year, and Jazz FM Voices is here as part of our drive to be better in these difficult times.”
Also, over the weekend, KISS held a KISS Life special on Sunday at 9pm with Swarzy which is now available as a podcast: A KISS Life Special
“In the week that marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent global outrage regarding it, we land in the UK’s campaigning capital to find out how Bristolians are feeling… From the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963, to the much-reported removal of the prominently placed statue of former enslavement trader Edward Coulson last year, the spirit of fight, protest and expression is everywhere.”
Today, Jazz FM will be reflecting on how the prominent event highlighted issues of systemic racism and the unjust treatment of Black People with the segment, Reflecting a year since the passing of George Floyd.
Additionally, over the coming weekend, Jazz FM will hold another on-air event on Saturday 29th May with Jazz FM Voices: Black Minds Matter
“We're continuing our collaboration with the organisation Black Minds Matter UK in support of their 21K Donor Challenge, and the vital mental health support that they're providing. Alongside a healing selection of music, we're joined by core team members and therapists from the organisation.”
What more has Bauer UK done?
As a business we want Bauer Media to be a great place to do great work for all, and will continue to improve our practices, listen and learn. We know that we must work to increase our diversity to better represent the audiences we serve.
Belonging @ Bauer is our commitment to deliver greater inclusivity and diversity of our workforce. It is a fundamental part of the business, with pillars including Race Equality.
For us this is not about creating a long list of ringfenced D&I initiatives, we are focused on driving a sustained cultural change by weaving Diversity and Inclusion into every part of our business I.e., our values, people strategy, policies and general ways of working.
We have been collaborating with our pillar communities to identify ways to make our internal end-end employee processes more effective and inclusive, to ensure a consistent positive employee experience for everyone at Bauer.
Here are some of the changes that we have made in the last year that are here to stay and will become part of who we are and what we do...
- We recognise that our leaders will play a critical role in us achieving our ambition to weave D&I into all we do. Therefore we are rolling out D&I specific leadership objectives, to help drive leadership accountability.
- We signed the Broccoli Content Equality in Audio Pact, which states that we must ‘Hire LGBTQIA+, black people and other ethnic minorities on projects not only related to their identity’ and ‘Be transparent about who works for your company, as well as their role, position and permanency.’
- We have signed up to the BITC Race at Work Charter which aims to ensure that ethnic minority employees are represented at all levels. All our recruitment suppliers have been asked to sign up to the Race at Work Charter, and we will not work with companies who don’t
- We recently rolled out a new process around recruitment to track the diversity of applicants for roles to enable us to ensure a representative pool of candidates are considered and to also track progress on becoming a workforce more reflective of the communities we engage with through our audio, print and digital products and consumer events
- We have mandated that all recruitment agencies sign up to our recruitment charter, which is focused on ensuring that we source the best most diverse talent for our vacancies.
- We rolled out new diversity and inclusion training to all hiring managers through a series of podcasts, which episodes around unconscious bias, recruiting inclusively and preparing for interviews with a diverse pool of candidates. More is in the pipeline to support the development of our knowledge of how we can all contribute to creating an inclusive working environment.
- Our Code of Conduct, that all employees are obligated to sign, states that we stand by a culture in which diversity is appreciated and supported, where opportunities are open to all, where people treat each other with respect and expect to get the same in return. We have launched a ‘Calling It Out’ campaign to encourage us all to speak up if a colleague is not living up to these standards.
Always here for you...
We have a variety of services to support you at any time. Our Mental Health First Aiders are available for confidential and non-judgemental conversations in a way that suits you, you can see the full list of MHFA on Media Vine.
As well as MHFA information, the Media Vine Mental Health Hub houses advice and support from Where’s Your Head At?, as well as info and contact details of our EAP.
Our EAP, Health Assured, offer all Bauer people and their immediate families 24 hour, free, independent & confidential access to their helpline, 365 days a year. You can call the FREE EAP line on: 0800 030 5182, visit www.healthassuredeap.co.uk or download the Health e-Hub app. Login details: Username: Bauer Password: consumer Finally, THRIVE also has a specialist Teams channel focused on Mental Health to share content, tips and advice to support you