In our first episode of Series 16, we begin with a special extended episode focusing on antisemitism, the ‘oldest form of hatred in the world’. Host Julia Streets is joined by Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism and national newspaper Journalist, Nicole Lampert. Together they chart the rise of antisemitism and the exclusion of Jewish people in the diversity discussion. They discuss how to provide both practical support and demonstrate inclusion for Jewish people within the workplace, and the power and importance of networks and allies.
Gideon Falter, Chief Executive, Campaign Against Antisemitism
Gideon Falter has been leading Campaign Against Antisemitism since its establishment in 2014, developing it into the foremost organisation in the UK dedicated to combating the oldest form of hatred in the world. As the Chief Executive, Gideon frequently appears in print and broadcast media, has provided testimony to Parliament, and oversees CAA's bold legal actions and groundbreaking support for victims of antisemitic abuse in various settings such as the workplace, educational institutions, online platforms, and public spaces.
Nicole Lampert, National Newspaper Journalist
Nicole Lampert is a freelance national newspaper journalist. A former showbusiness editor for the Daily Mail, she went freelance when she became a mother, specialising in arts and entertainment. She started writing about antisemitism in 2018 when it became clear this particular form of racism had become a problem in the Labour party and that there were not many people writing about it in a form that most people could understand; she has written about it in publications from Glamour magazine to the Spectator.
Series Sixteen, Episode One Transcript
Julia: Hello, my name is Julia Streets and welcome to DiverCity Podcast, talking about equity, inclusion, and diversity in financial services.
On the podcast, we seek to shine a light on positive progress, call out areas requiring further focus, and offer lots of ideas to help drive change. Before we get started today, I just want to take a moment to thank our friends at City A.M., who have given DiverCity Podcast a new home at Impact AM, their pages dedicated to ESG, impact investment, DE&I, and so much more. We really appreciate that they publish and promote both our episodes and our supporting blog series so their readers can stay right on the top of the very latest diversity, equity, and inclusion debate. Thank you to City A.M.
In this episode, we’ll be focusing on the topic of antisemitism, and I’m delighted to be joined by two guests, Gideon Falter and Nicole Lampert. Gideon Falter has been leading Campaign Against antisemitism since its establishment in 2014, developing it into the foremost organisation in the UK dedicated to combating the oldest form of hatred in the world. As the Chief Executive, Gideon is recognised as a media commentator.
He has provided testimony to Parliament, and he oversees the organisation’s bold legal actions and support for victims of anti-semitic abuse in various settings, including the workplace, educational institutions, online platforms, and public spaces. Gideon, a very bold welcome to the show. Great to have you with us.
Gideon: Thank you for having me, and also thank you for devoting such attention to this topic.
Julia: I have so many questions, and I’m really curious to get into this subject. I’m delighted to welcome our second guest to the show, Nicole Lampert. Nicole is a freelance national newspaper journalist. A former showbusiness editor at the Daily Mail, she started writing about antisemitism back in 2018 when it became clear this particular form racism had become a problem in the Labour Party, and there were not many people writing about it in a form that most people could understand.
She’s written about it in publications ranging from Glamour Magazine to The Spectator, and it is no surprise that she is a regular commentator on the BBC and other broadcast networks. Nicole, thank you for your time. Welcome to the show.
Nicole: Thank you very much. And as Gideon says, thank you very much for focusing on this particular subject.
Julia: It’s a pleasure. But listen, before we get into the discussion, I would love to come to each of you just take a moment to focus on what you’re working on right now. Nicole, can I come to you, first of all?
Nicole: I’m normally juggling about 4-5 things at the same time and my work still merges between pure entertainment, so I’m writing about Sanderton and things like that, and then focusing on antisemitism and Judaism. One of the things I’m researching at the moment is having spent a day with them is the Haredi community. If you picture a Jew in your head, they might be what you picture because they are the very ostensibly Jewish people. The men wear the hat. They have the payos, which are the kind of the curly hair thing.
They’re a community that faces all sorts of challenges. And as they are the most obviously Jewish, they face the most anti-smitism in this country. Perhaps just to explain to your listeners, in terms of a minority, we are probably one of Britain’s smallest minorities. There’s about 250,000 Jews in this country. We range from the secular, which I am, I don’t keep kosher. I go to synagogue twice a year. I’m probably atheist.
And then you have the more Orthodox, people that go to synagogue more often. The men might wear a kippah, which is a head covering. The women might wear a sheitel, which is a wig, when they’re married to the Haredi, who are, of course, also known as the Ultra Orthodox. It is been really fascinating spending some time with them and learning about their world and how our world of computers and telephones and all of that impacts on them.
A second one that I’m working on is a book about the Holocaust and it’s about a woman’s family. They basically became kind of hidden Jews post-Holocaust. Her grandparents and her mother were all Holocaust victims and they moved to Australia. Over time she realised that there were lots of secrets that she didn’t know. This is very common particularly in people that have had the trauma of the Holocaust, that they hide their Judaism, they hide secrets, they don’t talk about it. I’m sure it’s something we’ll get into later, but I just wanted to mention it because it emphasises the trauma of the Holocaust, which is massive on all Jews, whether you had Holocaust victims in your family or not.
Julia: Thank you, first of all, for setting the scene so beautifully as we go into the interview. I think there’s always a risk that we can make very early assumptions, so it’s great to have that laid out. Also, fascinated by your interview of the author of the book as well. Do please share. If you’re publishing anything on that, do share it. We’d love to be able to share that with the audience as well. Gideon, can I bring you in here? I’m very curious to hear what you are particularly focused on right now.
Gideon: We’re a volunteer-led charity. We’re mostly dedicated to two things. One is trying to ensure that there are consequences for anti-Semites, and partly that’s about deterrence and partly about just making sure that they’re stopped and that they don’t succeed in spreading hatred. The other thing that we work on an awful lot is education. Part of that is mass public communications campaigns to try to help people to understand what antisemitism is and what they can do about it. One of the things that we are very aware of is that we actually live in a country that is very decent.
Britain is a tolerant place, by and large. There are problems in society, but it’s actually one of the best places in the world in which to live as a Jew. But that said, we do have a very serious problem with antisemitism. Although, as Nicole said, Jews constitute about half a percent of the British population, we suffer about 500% more hate crime per capita than any other faith group. There’s this huge hatred that is directed at the Jewish community sometimes, as Nicole said, against people who are very recognisably Jewish, members of the Haredi Orthodox community.
People who are recognised to be Jewish by their garb. Sometimes it’s just against people who no one necessarily would know are Jewish from any of their practises, but they are Jewish and they suffer this hatred. One of the things we did, for example, earlier this year was to run a nationwide billboard campaign talking about the antisemitism that people face and talking about the fact that Jews don’t look all one way and don’t act all one way. There’s a diversity within our community and really we need help from the public in standing up to this hatred.
Because as 0.5% of the population, we definitely can’t do it alone. And then there’s the other part of our work, which is actually taking on some of these anti-semites and also sometimes the authorities when they fail to act. We have got a history of taking action against police forces and even the Crown Prosecution Service when they fail to prosecute anti-semitic hate crime.
But also actually we’ve gone after an awful lot of the anti-semites themselves, and that’s included everybody from, for example, a far-right internet radio host who was openly calling for a gun so that he could go and shoot Jews, through to Islamist extremists who hate Jews for theological reasons, all of the way through to some of the far-left groups, and included in that, we were actually the complainant in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.
I think one of the things that is most remarkable to me as we reach about nine years of our organisation existing is the sheer breadth of where we find antisemitism and the different types and the fact that this hatred, this old hatred, is still so pervasive and there is still so much to do.
Julia: In the conversation about diversity, equity, inclusion, we do talk about faith, but we haven’t really focused very much in the conversation, I don’t see many people focusing on antisemitism or indeed the Jewish faith within that discussion. Nicole, can I bring you in here? I’d love to get your thoughts about, is that your experience? Do you see that there is an exclusion of Jewish people in the DE&I conversation from your work and your conversations?
Nicole: Definitely more from my conversations I guess because I’m a freelancer. I don’t have a boss. But even one of the organisations that oversees journalists, the Society of Editors, they have a whole list of “we are so inclusive, women, LGBTQ+, and people of colour”. I wrote to them and said, “You don’t have any space for racism against people who are deemed white.” That’s not just the Jewish community, that’s also the Gypsy, Roma, Sinti community, travellers, all of that and I was just ignored.
I think there is this feeling very much within the workplace that Jews don’t count to, David Baddiel has obviously written a very good book on this and I would recommend it to all your listeners because it’s very much based in this world where people who are anti-racists somehow don’t see Jews as worthy of their help. Just one example, I spoke to a friend who’s a journalist at a magazine that does have a helping everybody, everyone’s kind and lovely, and they have things for every single holiday, Ramadan, South Asian Heritage, Diwali, World Mental Health Day.
She wrote and said, “Could you do something about Judaism? Here are the High Holy Days, Holocaust Memorial Day. This is a really good one.” She said she got some thumbs up, but again, was completely ignored. This isn’t just because we’re a small community, but there’s something more pervasive. There’s an idea that because we are white, we don’t need the help.
But there’s another argument that Jews are what’s known as passing white, which is even if you are a white skinned Jew, and many of us are white people, but dark skinned white people, so we look foreign as it were, but even if you are, then as soon as people realise you are Jewish, then they see you in a different way. But sometimes it’s worse than that in that they believe the trope that Jews are rich and powerful and therefore don’t need help. So then the very thing that’s meant to help minorities is a thing that’s actually perpetuating a trope that simply isn’t true.
Lots of Jews aren’t rich. Most Jews are not. There are a few very famous rich Jews, but certainly the Haredi community, many of them living below the poverty line, as are many others. I sent an article and there was one quote from it, and this was from the DE&I committee at Stanford University. It’s at Forbes magazine. Somebody complained because Jews weren’t included in their work.
They said, “Jews, unlike other minority groups, possess privilege and power. Jews and victims of Jew hate do not want or necessitate the attention of the DEI committee.” That is one of the problems that we face.
Julia: Gideon, let me bring you in here because I’d love to see what are you building on those remarks. When we think, and in the introduction I was mentioning about your focus in different areas of society and the workplace was absolutely one of those, your response to Nicole’s remarks there and also other examples of where antisemitism reveals itself in the workplace.
Gideon: What we see an awful lot of is exactly what Nicole’s describing. We see the far-right basically saying that Jews aren’t white enough. Jews are foreign. They’re racially impure. That kind of far-right argument is a very old one. And then what we see on the far-left is people saying that Jews are too white, Jews have white privilege, and they don’t need help, and they can’t really suffer racism. What you have is, for example, this bizarre scandal that’s erupted with Diane Abbott a couple of months ago where she wrote a letter to The Observer basically saying that Jews don’t suffer racism at all.
They suffer prejudice akin to the kind of prejudice that maybe ginger haired people might suffer. Of course, everybody turned around and said, “Well, hang on. It was in living memory that Jews were being bundled into cattle cars and mass murdered.” We see this weird argument where for some people we’re not white enough, for some people we’re too white. Cutting through all of it, the reality is we suffer a huge amount of hatred. There is a real wave of antisemitism that is out there.
A lot of it is driven by conspiracy theory.
We even see sometimes on social media people from the far-right and people from the far-left agreeing that they hate Jews, but disagreeing on what the correct reason is to do so. We also see that an awful lot in the diversity and inclusion space. We’ve actually taken legal action against employers, where as part of the workplace diversity and inclusion training that was being given, they’ve actually told their employees that Jews, for example, were responsible for the slave trade.
They’ve actually perpetuated anti-semitic lies and conspiracy theories as part of this training. I think part of the reason for that is that antisemitism is, such an insidious form of hatred because quite often racism punches down. It says that so-and-so is dirty or violent or terrorist or stupid or whatever it is. But with Jews, the hatred that we often get, yes, we get that as well, but we also get conspiracy theories that say Jews are all powerful. They are cunning. They are malevolent.They are a masterful group within society operating behind closed doors and doing us all a lot of harm. Some people listen to that and they don’t think it’s racist at all.
Worse than that, it also makes them feel that Jews are kind of undeserving of help. Whereas at the moment, as we started off by saying, Jews are this tiny population which is facing a massive amount of hatred compared to most other faith groups.
Julia: Gideon, can I stay with you there? Because one of the things I get asked a lot from the audience is what should we be reading? Where should we go to become better educated? I’d love to get your thoughts on what advice you’d give the audience on that.
Gideon: One of the things I suppose I would say is that we put out an awful lot of material and educational resources. We actually train an awful lot of companies and also police forces and regulators as part of their diversity and inclusion training on how they can actually tackle this within their workforce and make sure that their workforce is aware of what to do when they see things. But also on I think every single social media platform, we’re @antisemitism, and we’ve also got our website, antisemitism.org.
There’s an awful lot of material there. Most days there is something going on, unfortunately, whether it’s Kanye West telling everybody that Jews are basically the problem in society, through to what was going on in the Labour Party and that far-left antisemitism, through to the far-right. It’s actually quite interesting, I think, to follow along and see what’s going on because it’s quite an eyeopener to see the different types of antisemitism and the degree of hatred that we see including coming from quite recognisable household names.
Julia: Nicole, can I bring you in here because I can think about, again, in the world of financial services and we’re honing down even further. Gideon, thank you for your thoughts about where to go, what to read, and certainly more directly towards your organisation. Nicole, when you think about best practise and positive change, I’d love to hear your thoughts about where people should be focused to become better educated and also to address some of these concerns.
Nicole: I put a call-out on social media for Jewish people to get in contact with me, people that I knew, to tell about their good and bad experiences. There was one person who gave me an example of both, which I thought was really telling, and he’s a communications consultant working in the sector. I would say that antisemitism and Jews in the workplace is in two forms, which is the religious side of things and then the antisemitism side.
We have most Jews, including even secular Jews like me, will have two days that we take off or maybe three for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which are the Jewish High Holy Days. He was told in one place that he worked that if he took off Rosh Hashanah, then it would look bad on his career. Laterally, he’s now in a different place, and he was telling me about some of the amazing experiences, which is just almost when he started, his employer sought his views on how to demonstrate support to Jews to start with.
And then talking about an example, in 2021, some pro-Palestinian extremists drove around London for two, three hours saying they wanted to kill Jews and rape Jewish women. He asked this person how best he should demonstrate the company supports Jewish people who might be upset by this. In the company as a whole, and this is for people of all religions, if it’s a religious High Holy Day, then people in the company will be told. They are educated about it so that they can support each other.
They are told, “Your Jewish colleagues might be off today because today is this day.” They promote Holocaust Memorial Day. It’s part of the team. They have global educators talking about the Holocaust, because, of course, one of the modern day forms of antisemitism is Holocaust denial. They do this for people of all religion. Of course, no one feels special or anything like that. I would say just on the other side, going back to the example I gave earlier of my friend in a magazine, because there’s this idea that we are powerful and white, therefore, we don’t need it.
If we say something and are ignored, then we tend to keep quiet because we’re like, “Oh, we don’t want to fall into that trope of moaning, whiny Jew.” It’s lovely that he’s joined this company and he’s had all these wonderful things happen, and he really appreciates it. His mother had died recently and his company even planted a tree in Israel in her name for him, which was above and beyond and gorgeous behaviour.
Julia: It is. I’m talking to leaders and enlighten leaders about how to attract and retain talents, but to celebrate their talent and bring others into the experience of your talent, that’s all about inclusion, it’s all about purpose, and it’s also about engaging with your talent as well. It’s wonderful to hear stories like that as well. Gideon, I have a strong sense you want to come in here. Please do.
Gideon: One of the things I think that really is affecting the Jewish community is this feeling that there are no consequences for antisemitism. In a world where we’re hyper aware of racism and hatred, it’s a form of racism and hatred which is just not being acted against. One of the examples Nicole gave was this convoy where they were driving around London for hours on end shouting about killing and raping Jews, and the police took a long time to respond. We’d actually warned them that this convoy was coming into London.
The Crown in the end charged four people and then dropped all of the charges and didn’t pursue it any further. There’s this feeling amongst the Jewish community, if you can drive a convoy in broad daylight on film through London shouting that you want to kill and rape Jews and nothing is done about it, what is going to be done about antisemitism? How are people going to be defended? We do polling every year with YouGov and King’s College looking at perceptions of Jews from wider society, and we also poll the Jewish community and ask them how they feel about things.
Those figures are really striking because we get large swathes of the Jewish community saying that they’re not sure whether they have a future in this country. We have only about one in five British Jews think that the authorities are doing enough about antisemitism. Often where that comes out is in this disguising of antisemitism as some kind of critique of Israel when it’s really not. These people driving through London shouting about raping and killing Jews, they were all flying Palestinian flags.
A lot of people I think look at that and they say, “Oh, this is about a conflict thousands of miles away. This is not racism. This is some kind of political discourse. Free country. You can say what you like.” But in reality, that’s not what it is. If you’re talking about raping and killing Jews, you’re an anti-semite, you’re a racist, and you’re inciting racial hatred, and you ought to go to prison. That’s the kind of thing which we see an awful lot of, and we also see it in the workplace. We see it a hell of a lot in schools and on campus, and that’s a place where it’s really becoming problematic.
If you want to say something horrendous about Jews and you swap in Zionists or Israelis instead, there are a lot of people who get away with it. Of course, nowhere was that more prevalent than in the Labour Party when Jeremy Corbyn was in charge. You really get this sense of, for example, Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London, going on national radio and saying that Hitler was a Zionist. That’s the kind of narrative that has been allowed to develop partly because the authorities have just been so neglectful in dealing with this.
I think a lot of employers and workplaces, they just don’t know what to do when they’re faced with it and they shut down instead of seeking help and going out and addressing it.
Julia: I’m going to come onto to the conversation about what organisations could do, in particular thinking about the power of networks. But before I do that, Nicole, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as well partly because, of course, as I mentioned in introduction, you’ve written about the Labour Party, but also this topic about the campus has come in. I’d love to get your thoughts.
Nicole: antisemitism changes, they call it the virus, and it always shows up in new forms. For thousands of years, around 2,000 years, Jews were penalised and attacked because of their religion, because they didn’t accept Christ as their God. In Muslim countries, they were treated as other. But particularly in the West, they were killed partly under the auspices of the church. Then came the Nazi era where Jews were killed because they were a different race. There was a whole science behind it.
And now it’s moved on again where now they hate us for our country. People particularly on the left are obsessed with Israel-Palestine. Most people don’t know much about it. They couldn’t point to it on a map, but they didn’t realise, as Gideon said, that if you say all this nasty stuff about Zionists, what you’re really saying is about Jews. For example, there’s lots of stuff about Zionists love to kill children. This is a 1,000-year-old trope that started in this country about Jews actually wanting to kill Christian children and use their blood for matzah meal.
This is a trope that’s continued, but you can see it in a different way. Actually one of the people that wrote to me when I asked for questions is that a worry is that quite a lot of people in this, on the left, good people, anti-racist, but they’ve swallowed all this stuff about Israel. Therefore, if you follow that through, then you believe Zionism is racism. Therefore, you believe any person who believes in Zionism is a racist, and therefore, they’re not worth defending. Just to be clear for your readers, Zionism is a movement for a homeland for the Jewish people in our ancestral homeland.
Zionism came about because of antisemitism, and it’s not the other way around. It started in the 1890s when my family were forced to flee Russia and places like that because of antisemitism. Obviously it became a much bigger thing after the Holocaust, which showed very much so that Jews couldn’t trust Christians to look after them. I would just say that that is, as a mother of teenagers, it’s something that I know that my boys are going to have to face.
They’ve already faced some antisemitism at school and they’re going to have to face questions about Israel and things like that from people that, as I say, know almost nothing about the conflict and how complicated it is. There’s this idea that you’re either pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian. Whereas I would say that most Jews, particularly most British Jews, most of us believe in the two-state solution, which means you are both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian. We want peace in the region.
Julia: Well, I wonder if I could pick up on the area where I was alluding we would go, which is the power of networks. We know that this is really important both in terms of educating organisations, listening to what employee resource groups need as a community and also the role that they can play in educating others as well. I wonder if we could move to that discussion right now, Gideon, are you aware of any really good networks within financial services?
Obviously we’re talking very much about in the UK, but have you got any thoughts internationally as well? That would be welcome because we have listeners all over the world. When you look at those networks, very curious to hear your thoughts about where they are driving positive change.
Gideon: We actually deal with quite a lot of employee groups and we also deal with quite a lot of groupings across industries. We will get contacted by groups of, for example, Jews in accountancy, or Jews in social care or Jews in nursing and all sorts of faith-based groupings. But we also get contacted by people who are beyond the Jewish community and have formed groups of staff of employees and also just professionals across different industries who just want to fight hatred, who want to make sure that their industry is not a place where racism can thrive.
What they often do is they ask us for help, they ask us for training, which we very gladly give. And then what happens is we won’t hear from them for a while, but then at some point they will come back to us and they have been equipped to actually spot some of the more subtle types of antisemitism that can go on. They’ll come back to us. They will highlight things that we would never have found out about. They will create the dialogue. Generally speaking, when we speak with an employer, we’re not trying to bring the employer down or something like that.
We just want to help them to deal with a situation which they probably weren’t thinking of dealing with, which has come as a surprise to them. They’re not quite sure what to do about it, and they need some help. Those networks across professional groupings and also across large employers, those networks are really key to opening the door, getting that dialogue going. But most importantly, they spot things that external people like us wouldn’t necessarily spot. They also show Jewish colleagues, this is not a Jewish problem for Jews to solve, this is a societal problem for society to solve.
And by standing up,I think there’s nothing more comforting to the Jewish community, particularly when it’s feeling embattled, than non-Jewish people. We find those groupings saying, “Hang on, that was anti-semitic. We’re not going to let that go. We’re going to step in here, and we’re going to make sure that there is a consequence for this. We’re going to make sure that practises change.” And that is probably about the most comforting thing that the Jewish community can see happening.
Julia: Allyship is incredibly powerful. Nicole, as you are out talking to allies and listening to allies and thinking about how we can step up for each other, I’d love to get your thoughts about what should the audience do to become better allies?
Nicole: Firstly, thank you, because Gideon says, it’s incredibly comforting. When there are times of antisemitism, you really realise your minority status because it’s frightening how many of anti-semites will pop up everywhere, particularly on social media. I think the first thing I would say is take time to understand antisemitism. It’s complex. As I mentioned before, it’s embedded into Western society. Things that you think are true about Jews aren’t, they’re just tropes.
Even if they’re good things, like Jews are good with money, there’s no reason we’re no better or worse with money than anyone else. Martin Lewis is quite funny on this because he’s Jewish and people are like, “Oh, you’re good at money because you’re Jewish.” He’s like, “No, I’m just good with money.” Understanding the tropes, there are some good books out there. Dave Rich, who’s behind the CST, which helps create security for the Jewish community. He’s written a really good one recently, which just has basic understanding of the tropes.
But even things like, don’t say to a Jewish person, “Oh, you don’t look Jewish,” when you mean to say you don’t have a big nose, which I’ve had loads of times. On the plus, I think the example I gave earlier, we just also learn about particular needs that Jewish people might have around holidays. If you are a more religious Jew, then when it’s Shabbat, you might need to leave work early on a Friday in the winter because you have to start Shabbat, so you have to do all you’re driving and everything before it gets dark.
I think sometimes it’s nice to just hear, “Are you okay,” just to have a bit of support, and lastly, I would say, I don’t think the Jewish person in your life wants to talk to you about Israel, unless you have a very well-informed position. Don’t assume just because they’re Jewish, they want to talk to you about Israel. And particularly they don’t want to get in a row with you or anything like that because it can just be horrible basically to be at the centre of that and to have everyone looking at you.
It might be the Jewish person doesn’t have a firm opinion about Israel. At the moment, British Jews and Israeli Jews, they’re all demonstrating the government. They have been for some time. Just stay away from that subject, unless the Jewish person has invited you to talk about it.
Julia: I think this is a great moment to welcome in Cynthia Akinsanya for some research to support today’s discussion.
Cynthia: In the 2020 Anti-semitic Incidents Report carried out by the Community Security Trust, one in four Jewish people considered leaving the UK. In the US, according to the Anti-Defamation League, 2021 was the highest year on record for a documented total of 2,717 reported incidents of harassment, vandalism, and violence directed against Jews.
Julia: Thank you, Cynthia, as always, for the research. Let’s just take a few moments to remind everybody how you can find DiverCity Podcast. Links to the research could be found on our website, divercitypodcast.com. Don’t forget that’s diversity with a C, divercitypodcast.com. That’s where you can find all our episodes and sign up for early notifications of future recordings. Do also sign up for our newsletter DE&I That Caught Our Eye. That’s where we share news stories and updates so you can stay right on top of what’s current.
Follow us on social media, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, I don’t know if it’s still called Twitter. X I think it is now, LinkedIn. DiverCity Podcast is available on BrightTALK and all good podcast channels. We’re very proud of our five star rating. Please do give us a rating because it all helps to widen the reach of this show. Now, let’s go to the final section, and this is a question I ask all our guests, and I’m really curious to hear from you your compelling reason why DE&I must remain high on the corporate agenda. Gideon, can I come to you first of all?
Gideon: Well, I think in the case of antisemitism, I think a lot of people feel that they know about lots of different types of prejudice now, against disabled people, about the LGBTQ community against the Black community, against lots of different communities. But one of the types of racism and prejudice that I think is still really badly understood is antisemitism, and it’s also a type of hatred, which is massively on the rise, partly due to conspiracy theories, partly just due to the polarisation of society.
Companies have got a massive part to play in this. They can be a real force for good. It’s firstly, of course, about making sure their employees and their staff can work in a safe and welcoming environment, but it’s also about just making sure that they play a role in society in trying to improve society. Over the decades with different movements against different types of hatred, we’ve seen this massive role that companies can play when they really get behind it. It’s a hugely important thing for companies to be focusing resources on.
It’s not a huge amount of resource that is required, but that little bit of effort can really go a long way, particularly if you consider that your staff, when they go home, they’ve got a whole multitude of things that they need to deal with. If you can carve out even half an hour in their day, one day a year, just to get a little bit of information into their life about what’s going on and how they can stand up, you help make things a little bit better.
Of course, many companies have recognised that and devote so much more time than that, but that’s really a bare minimum that hopefully companies should be contributing. I think really the main thing that we see is that society is becoming much more polarised and things are becoming much more difficult. It’s becoming much more difficult to have a conversation. This is an environment within the diversity and inclusion world, you can foster a really just calm, safe conversation about a topic that is really important to a lot of people.
Julia: Nicole, can I come to you to close out the show with your compelling reasons why diversity, equity, inclusion must remain high on the corporate agenda?
Nicole: I suppose I come from a world famously, a brutal workplace. I’ve worked in newsrooms where the female toilets are mainly used by women crying at the bullying. It is been really nice for me to see over the years how this kind of inclusion for women, for minorities, for all different types of minorities are making the workplace a better place, because work shouldn’t be a struggle. People shouldn’t be crying at work.
Kindness is really important, understanding each other, and particularly in terms of antisemitism, because it is rising around the world and because your Jewish friends are going to be scared, then I think it has an really important part to play. Not only celebrating the festivals, something like that, but educating to make sure that the next generation are more educated about antisemitism and can be good allies.
Julia: Nicole Lampert, thank you for being on the show today and for all your insights. Really appreciate it.
Nicole: Thank you so much for having me
Julia: Gideon Falter, thank you also for taking the time to be with us and to discuss it with Nicole this really important topic.
Gideon Falter: Thank you so much for having us both.
Julia: To all our listeners, thank you as always for listening. Do share this episode with everybody in your organisation. Until next time, I’ve been Julia Streets. Thank you for listening. Goodbye.
Cynthia: This episode of DiverCity Podcast was produced by Roshan Roberts on behalf of Julia Streets Productions. You can find out more about the guests from this week’s show on our website. That’s www.divercitypodcast.com. That’s diversity with a C and not an S. Whilst you are there, you can also sign up to our newsletter for all our latest updates. All our episodes are available in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast app. If you enjoy DiverCity Podcast, remember to share on social media and give us a rating or review. And finally, our Twitter handle is @divercitypod. Thanks for listening.