Preserving Black History Month’s legacy

October is Black History Month in the UK. Launched back in the 1980s to challenge and educate others about a part of British history not ordinarily taught in schools. Nearly 40 years on and it’s celebrated nationwide, which is a positive achievement.

We spoke to our colleague, Tregson Davies, to find out how he views inclusion here and what still needs to be done to make things better. Here’s Tregson’s account.

‘I launched my career at RBS in 2008, and since 2014, I’ve been in Corporate Banking as an Assistant Relationship Director. My initial experience working for the bank has remained a positive one; I’ve met and forged a variety of relationships with people from many different backgrounds. Since I joined more focus has been visible on the inclusion agenda, including more ambitious plans and objectives across the bank.

‘As a minority in RBS, it’s pleasing to see the bank recognising Black History Month. It provides me with the platform to learn and gain historical insight into the contributions of people of African descent. It’s vital for me as a minority to help preserve the historical legacy of BHM so future generations will learn from history. Because of such events, I and other minorities can say we stand tall today on the mighty shoulders of our descendants. Our past serves as a reminder of just how far we’ve come, but also how far there is to go.

‘Since joining the bank, I’ve seen various inclusion initiatives. This is pleasing to see as we serve diverse communities, and it’s imperative we represent those communities in the bank, including in top leadership roles. As 14% of the bank’s customers are from ethnic minorities, I’m thrilled to see that we’ve set up challenging objectives to have a more diverse leadership by 2025. We all have a part to play in helping the bank achieve its ambition to become number one for customer service, trust and advocacy. I believe that now and in the foreseeable future it will be viewed as the place where people can bring their whole selves to work, making the bank a great place to work. As said eloquently by Verna Myers, "diversity is being invited to the party, inclusivity is being asked to dance".’