engage magazine issue 004 \'07 - Page 23

24 EQALITARIAN SOCIETY European Year of Equal Opportunities Changing of Black “There’s more of a listening attitude than there was 40 years ago. I can’t be simplistic and say it’s terrible. It’s a bit better but we have a long, long way to go before we can talk about an egalitarian society. Progress has been slow because racism, sexism and class-ism serve a purpose and maintain the status quo and control. The changes that have occurred are a result of pressure from black people and the ordinary man.” face Britain construction of the company in the market place. The company asks us if we can provide it with services that will allow it to penetrate the market place, sustain growth in those markets and reflect the composition of those markets. We then construct a set of policies for that company to include what it needs to do, how it needs to treat different types of people etc. This is organisational change and organisational culture. There are still senior BAME officers complaining of racism and going to the Tribunal but at the same time there are more BAME recruits than ever. In contrast, we’ve been very successful with the Army. When the Army approached us seven years ago it asked us to multi-culturalise it. At the time BAME recruitment 2007 is the ‘European Year of Equal Opportunities for All’ therefore, it seemed appropriate to speak to Professor Chris Mullard CBE, renowned academic and Chairman/CEO of Focus Consultancy. In a candid interview, he gives his opinion on racism since first writing ‘Black Britain’ in 1973 and describes the work and ethos of ‘Focus Consultancy’ that has ensured the company’s continued success. Professor, you began your career as a bus driver and then became involved in race relations, which led on to you writing your first book ‘Black Britain’, the first of many. In reality, how has society’s attitude changed since then? Has there been any real progress? stood at 0.2%, but over the last seven years we’ve increased it to 12.8%.” Professor Mullard Interview - Focus Consultancy Focus Consultancy is described as the ‘leading multi-ethnic and interdisciplinary consultancy in Europe. It specialises in equality, diversity management and organisational change’. How does the process work? “Focus does lots of research to correlate the best person for the job. For example, an international often global company, approaches Focus and tells us that it has a set of issues concerning diversity in the company and the Once this is done we then develop training programmes from top to bottom and this can take three or four years.” Your consultancy deals with the private and public sector and in the past has been approached by the British Army and the Metropolitan Police. Could you elaborate on this? “We’ve done a lot of work with the Met over the years in terms of training, recruitment and rapid promotion systems but it hasn’t been entirely successful. In your opinion, would you say 2007 has fulfilled the ‘European Year of Equal Opportunities for All’? “It’s too soon to say. In some areas there’ll be lots of progress and in others there’ll be none. Some countries will probably do more than others. At least it’s on the agenda. That’s positive.” For more information on Focus Consultancy please visit www.focus-consultancy.co.uk. You can also contact Europe Direct for answers about the European Union on freephone number 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 engage | uk ISSUE FOUR 2007