Blog

Back To The River

After scaling up to celebrate the We Are All Artists second anniversary a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been thinking of ways to scale back down again. Carole and I took a walk along a few miles of the River Wandle earlier this week, and the river has been on my mind since.

Last night I picked up a small hardwood tile and began to draw and paint.

Several hours, and many coats of paint and varnish later.

I’ll be hiding this very soon. It’s a sunny day today, can’t wait to see how the sun makes the art sparkle.

Footnote:
I hid the art by a waterwheel in The Grove, Carshalton, here’s a photo taken on location. It’s since been found and has a new home.

Diversity In The Bored Room

I really enjoyed listening to Lenny Henry at the recent Changeboard Future Talent event. His talk was funny and powerful – I was live blogging on the day and first shared some of what he spoke about here.

Something which really struck me in the talk, and which has stayed with me, was a focus on the lack of diversity inclusion and representation, both in the media, and in the wider world of work. This extract is from my earlier blog post about the talk:

Lenny called out the lack of racial diversity in the room. He told us of recent times in the media, where figures show that for every BAME person who lost their job, two white people were employed. This is partly why Lenny Henry continues his campaigning in the media for greater diversity, inclusion, and representation.

Diversity in the boardrooms – that’s where change starts.

If you think you can’t change it yourself? Apply pressure to those who can.

It’s easy to spot the places and people taking diversity, inclusion, and representation more seriously. They put real jobs, and money behind it!

Out of curiosity, I started to take a look at the very top levels of some of the organisations sponsoring and speaking at the event. I’ve always had a sense of the inequality in the upper echelons of business, but never sat down and taken a good look at it myself. In doing so, I recognise that diversity has many facets, and as my friend Laura Tribe suggests, ‘looking diverse isn’t being diverse’, however what my small piece of research uncovered is a much more distorted picture than I had previously imagined. Here’s what I found (what follows is an edit of a thread I shared on Twitter):

I went to an event this week where diversity and inclusion was high on the agenda. One of the speakers said change has to start in the boardrooms. This point got me curious, so I’m currently looking at boards and senior leadership teams of some of the event sponsors and the companies represented by some of the speakers at the event. What I am seeing is white faces everywhere.

I appreciate there are elements of diversity and inclusion which go unseen, but what I observe so far, is overwhelming sameness. Here is just one example, there are plenty of similar ones to choose from.

Photos of the current board of directors at capita plc. 6 white men, 2 white women.

 

Here is another board of directors represented at the event. There is a little more gender diversity among the the next hierarchical level down, the executive team, but it is still overwhelmingly white.

Photographs of the main board of directors at Aviva plc. 5 white men.

 

Here’s another board, the first one I’ve come across so far with a woman CEO. At the executive level, one down from here, there are two women and nine men in the group of 11, no people of colour.

Photos of the main board at royal mail. 6 white men, 3 white women

Beauty In Impermanence

The free art project begins its third year. Last week’s painting has been hidden and found – where it has gone to, and with whom, I do not know.

This week there’s blossom on the trees – a sight of fleeting beauty. This week’s free art drop could be seen as an homage to those blossoming moments. It’s a simple water colour sketch, titled ‘You Might As Well Love Me Today, For Tomorrow I Will Be Gone Forever’.