What's your boss doing about race relations? Why inclusive work culture matters

Organisational culture is crucial for building inclusive workplace environments.

Diversity specialist Terry Oakley-Smith says the controversial tweet posted by Radio702 on Sunday shows the importance of developing organisational culture.

Read: We made a huge, grievous error - Primedia Broadcasting CEO Omar Essack

She advises that Primedia Broadcasting and other organisations need to spend more time addressing racism through effective practices, policies, training and education.

Oakley-Smith has emphasised the importance of inculcating the values of an organisation in all employees.

She explains that all companies and schools have the duty to create an inclusive environment that integrates a diversity of views and experiences.

It's still so difficult for black people, who are the vast majority, to really be themselves in organisations and who still feel they need to take on the whiteness in order to get anywhere.

Terry Oakley-Smith, Managing Director at Diversi-T

People are living in a kind of fear to speak out.

Terry Oakley-Smith, Managing Director at Diversi-T

She laments the fact that many black employees feel they have to assimilate white perspectives in the workplace.

Also read: Eusebius Opinion: You are not exempted from the messy South African story

According to Oakley-Smith, race is only one aspect of identity that needs to be addressed to achieve inclusivity in the workplace.

She says Primedia Broadcasting could have done much more to address racism in the organisation and the controversial tweet.

Oakley-Smith spoke about internalised racism, institutional racism, white privilege, the role of transformation and how to manage diversity in organisations in an effective manner.

She also engaged with listeners who called in to share their thoughts and personal stories.

Take a listen to the riveting discussion:

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
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We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

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