Cherron Inko-Tariah and Hira Ali are two ethnic minority women with a major focus on empowering people stuck in what is often called the ‘messy middle’ or sticky floors.
They met three years ago at a mentoring workshop and since then have shared many common interests and passions. They are both authors, trainers, coaches and passionate about inclusion.
In her book: Her Way To The Top, Hira surveyed 300 women across the globe on the challenges holding them back in their career. This survey revealed a combination of internal AND external challenges derailing women. During her survey and book research Hira found an overlap in the challenges faced by people from marginalised groups.
While working in their respective fields, both women discovered something; capturing the experiences of Black and Brown people as well as White Ethnic groups is a bit of a Grey Area and they wished to test this further. The phrase ‘Grey Area’ indicates an ill-defined area. We may know something exists but we can’t exactly pinpoint what it is. It’s always there and doesn’t go away and we often mistakenly try to work around it or try to avoid it altogether.
Traditionally, organisations are increasingly trying to find solutions to diversity and inclusion challenges by opting for either black or white solutions and not always achieving the desired outcomes. So the unresolved challenges are left floating around in the grey. This leads to some employees feeling isolated and invisible – something Cherron (author of The Incredible Power of Staff Networks) has found in her work with employee networks. As one of the UK’s leaders on networks, Cherron works with different groups to help them find their voice and be influential in the organisation.
Though organisations are increasingly investing time and money to do unconscious bias and other diversity trainings for the senior management, not much is being done to empower the ethnic minorities themselves. Yes, there are leadership programs for high potential and high calibre ethnic minority managers but there aren’t many initiatives that successfully build the pipeline.
After several discussions and informal talks with people in the industry, Cherron and Hira realised that the Grey Area existed because assumptions are made, voices are silenced and inclusion is misunderstood. They wanted to decode inclusion and hear the plurality of voices. This is when they decided to launch Grey Area Survey – Two Surveys, One Purpose We at The Grey Area aim to redefine and reconfigure power in an organisations by giving a voice to ethnic minorities and their white counterparts and hearing from them as to what exactly it is that they need in order to progress.
Moreover, we want organisations to:
- Your Voice Matters!
Could the Grey Area hold some of the solutions to truly embracing inclusion? Please fill this survey and together we can decode inclusion and step into THE GREY AREA.