Racial Harassment – why recruiting the right investigators matters.
At Intersol Global (investigations) we go to great lengths to recruit investigators from diverse backgrounds that are the very best at what they do. It matters because it’s of paramount importance when planning and preparing for investigations and workplace investigation meetings to enable the best chance to develop rapport and empathy with others. Without those qualities the product will be necessarily limited.
It was with great pleasure therefore that we received this fabulous feedback this week, feedback that underscores the culture we’re determined to foster at Intersol:
“I am really thankful to have worked with Hazel. She has really taken the time to work with me to collect an accurate statement that authentically represents my voices and experience. I feel that because she is a Black woman like me, we have a shared understanding of how racism presents in the world and impacts Black and racialised people which has made my experience working with her less uncomfortable and triggering.
When I initially made the complaint, I documented that I experienced microaggressions whilst studying. Then when my case was picked up by a white female staff member who was allocated to discuss the case with me, I felt I had to almost to explain the term microaggression – which are the daily verbal, behavioural or environmental incidences, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatised or culturally marginalised groups – and then go forward and provide examples of this which I couldn’t be sure were taken seriously, or valued particularly when the terminology of the word was loosely understood by the colleague. As you can imagine this in itself is both frustrating and triggering.
When working with Hazel, I felt I really did not have to explain much, of course I had to relay my experiences, but it didn’t feel like and interrogation because she lives as a Black woman and made me feel that she was very much aware of how the world receives and treats her and could relate to the microaggressions and feelings of othering in spaces that I have mentioned in my statement. Hazel really allowed me to feel comfortable, understood and assured in my complaint.
I am confident that if I had worked with an investigator who was not Black, I would have felt less comfortable to talk about my experiences in detail. I know I also speak for many when I say this is partly why some peers/colleagues who have had similar experiences do not report because having to retell the experience to someone who does not understand or value the experience is very much exhausting, triggering and leaves many second-guessing themselves.
“I’m yet to find out about the outcome of the report and next steps, but I have shared with many of my peers the pleasant experience I have had in working with Hazel which I hope will encourage them to come forward also“.
If you need external and impartial investigation support for your workplace investigations give us a call or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Advice is free so why not ‘invest to save’?