The PC police just called and confirmed that, no, you are not allowed to say that anymore and, yes, it is indeed ridiculous. God/Allah/Buddha/The Force only knows how we have got here! Imagine living in a modern world where people want to feel valued, respected, seen and heard as if they were equal. What a time to be alive!
As passionate diversity consultants, it can be tempting to bite back at the PC bait with a sense of superiority and a sarcastic tone (as demonstrated so adeptly above), but it does little to progress the conversation or make it more inclusive. The truth is, the conversation can be quite exclusive and we believe that, in order to make true societal progress, diversity has to become everyone’s business. And that’s precisely why we have decided to launch our brand new podcast: The Speakeasier.
This is a diversity conversation for everyone. Each fortnight, guests from the world of business, culture and the arts drop in to discuss how we make diversity something everyone can engage with and care about. The podcast series explores how being different has shaped our guests’ lives, and how they believe difference can be embraced to drive positive cultural and commercial returns rather than division. The Speakeasier is inclusive by design.
We’ll pose questions that others might be too afraid to ask.
We’ll help people understand the languages and behaviour that are and are not acceptable, and why.
We’ll explore our diverse guests’ lived experiences to help more people understand more about culture.
We’ll look at what happens in businesses and societies when decision-makers embrace difference and work with it
rather than pushing against it.
We’ll take minority issues and make them relevant to the mainstream.
In short, The Speakeasier will make diversity speak easier.
In our first episode, we ask Asma Khan - an Indian-born British chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author - Is it a man’s world?
Asma - who owns Darjeeling Express restaurant in London's Soho and was profiled on the sixth season of the Netflix documentary series Chef's Table - talks to us everything from all-female kitchens to allyship, Brexit to biryani, Covid-19 to curry.
We learn about using business as a social enterprise, how equal pay across all employees can drive inclusion, and how shouty chefs who berate women on primetime television need therapy. Asma shares her views on avoiding allowing culture to become narrow and nationalistic, the harmful jingoism of the Brexit campaign, and how the coronavirus crisis should help us all recognise that important role immigrants play in British society.
Business Insider named Asma “The Coolest Person in Food and Drink” in June 2019. If they hadn’t got there first, we would definitely have suggested that very same moniker.
The Speakeasier is available on all podcast platforms