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The Goldsmiths’ Company addresses diversity

The Goldsmiths’ Company has announced that there is “no place for racism” in its company or charity, and has outlined the ways it will address diversity in the group going forward.

It comes as the group said it is “committed to diversity, equity and inclusivity”, as stated in its company strategy published on 14 February 2020. 

Following the recent events sparked by the death of George Floyd, the group said it will now be reviewing its efforts to address diversity, equity and inclusion within its organisations, as well as the wider jewellery trade.

It will first look to understand its history and possible connections to the slave trade. While it is not currently aware of the company being involved in the slave trade directly, it is still researching its history to “establish the facts”. 

It added: “If there are past injustices to acknowledge and from which we should learn, we would want to do this.” 

The group has also pledged its support to black and minority ethnic jewellers and silversmiths, recognising that people from a BAME background are “underrepresented” in the industry. 

It said it has started conversations with individuals and organisations to look at understanding barriers to the industry, education and training. It will also provide a platform to promote the work of black and minority ethnic jewellers and silversmiths. 

The group will also look to improve diversity within the organisation, and is now looking at capturing diversity data to helpits establish a baseline, set targets and measure progress in its staff and membership.

It will also examine its main grant-giving priorities, and look at whether it is doing enough in this area to support black people and causes that focus on diversity, equity, and justice.

Richard Fox, prime warden at The Goldsmith’s Company, said: “We know we have much to do to achieve better diversity, equity and inclusion in the Company (staff and membership) and Charity, and in the craft and trade we support, as well as through our wider charitable partnerships. 

“All this will require sustained commitment and substantive change, going beyond statements of intent and quick fixes. And it will involve collaboration with other partners in an industry-wide effort.”    

He added: “Until relatively recently in the long sweep of our history, the members of Livery Companies were mostly male and almost exclusively white. When we look at the membership of the Goldsmiths’ Company today, we are making progress on gender. 

“We have never asked our members or staff to self-identify by ethnicity, and we have no data on ethnic diversity. But we don’t need the data to tell us that we are not yet anywhere near where we want to be in having a membership and staff that reflect the diversity of the City of London, our home for nearly seven centuries.”

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