Last year, the horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sent shockwaves around the world. People in the UK were rightly appalled by the stories of racism emerging from the US, and many saw this as the time to stand against the extent of racism and discrimination baked into British society.
Last year we stated: To our community: We stand in solidarity with you in the fight against systemic racism. We stand for inclusion, taking action and using our words to speak up about injustice. Laying out what we would do.
We first said – We will focus on education
Every month we’ve been publishing on our blog, emailing HQ staff and our Ambassadors about our Tropic Takes on Racism initiative. Covering educational topics that affect the UK including the windrush generation, household wealth inequality, Covid-19, Black History Month and mixed-race identities. These are topics omitted from our own formal education and ones that don’t get the attention that’s needed to instigate real change.
We next said – We will be more inclusive in our content
We hope that this commitment has been reflected in both issues of our Glow Magazine, as well as our imagery selection on our website and social media channels. While it’s important to show models from all backgrounds in front of the camera, a diversity of ideas and policies must come behind the camera also.
We now record and monitor our Tropic team’s ethnicity and nationalities, helping towards ensuring a truly inclusive working environment that’s reflective of our society.
8 per cent of our workforce is black or from a mixed black background working in over 10 departments. 11 per cent of our Leaders and Heads of Department are from black and mixed black backgrounds. We are always working towards increasing these percentages.
We next said – We will diversify our makeup range
We’ve introduced more shades in our Beauty Boosters and also replaced our shade names with numbers, eliminating the name ‘Barely Nude’, as we realise that ‘nude’ is not a single shade. Over the next year, we’ll be eliminating all names and will be doing this also for our Illuma Concealers and Mineral Foundations, as well as further expanding our Mineral Foundation shades to match our Beauty Boosters.
We didn’t stop at these pledges. We’ve always championed employees bringing their full selves to work, recognising and valuing our colleagues’ identities. This included championing the right of staff to embrace all afro hairstyles. Yet, in the UK, 1 in 5 Black women feel societal pressure to straighten their hair for work. To eliminate any trace of ambiguity, we’ve adopted The Halo Code, which explicitly protects employees who come to work with natural hair and hairstyles associated with their racial, ethnic, and cultural identities.
It’s one of the first things many of our employees see framed through our main entrance at Tropic HQ. So be it a seasoned Tropic veteran, or a prospective new candidate for a Tropic role, they know we clearly recognise and celebrate our colleagues’ identities. We’re a community built on an ethos of equality and respect where hair texture and style have no bearing on an employee’s ability to succeed.
Later in the year, we’ll also be publishing our Diversity and Inclusion report. In this, we’ll publish our gender and ethnicity pay gap.
We recognise there’s more work to be done and we intend to do it, consistently and working together to form a collective power and continuing the uncomfortable conversations. Because – just like our Infinite Purpose – our goal is never complete. We can all do better, together.
George Floyd matters. Black lives matter. We stand with you, and we fight for you.