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Black Lives Matter: Charter launches urging for racial reform in wellness industry

By Megan Whitby    18 Jun 2020
The charter has been signed by over 150 BAME wellness professionals / Shutterstock/ Fizkes
Systemic racism affects all industries and the wellness sector is no exception
– Sarah Greenidge

Over 150 black and minority wellness professionals have united to sign a charter demanding reform for racial equality in the UK wellness industry.

‘The Wellness Industry Charter for Racial Diversity, Inclusion and Access’, aims to tackle three diversity challenges: health inequality, lack of access, and under-representation faced by black and minority groups.

It was launched by WellSpoken, an organisation working with wellness brands to ensure they provide consumers with high levels of credible, authentic, evidence-based information on fitness, nutrition and wellbeing.

The charter asks wellness brands to commit to tackling these issues by providing a roadmap for businesses to improve which focuses on five areas of action: education, corporate diversity, representation, access and fair pay.

Those that pledge support will have access to an initial audit to provide bespoke guidance on where their business can improve and an ongoing annual review to measure and report on achieved change and outcomes, working towards racial equality in the wellness industry.

The initiative was produced in response to the Black Lives Matter movement after the WellSpoken team felt it drew attention to the lack of diversity and inclusion in the industry.

WellSpoken founder, Sarah Greenidge, explained: “Systemic racism affects all industries and the wellness sector is no exception.

“For too long, black and minority wellness professionals and consumers alike have been disadvantaged by this, whether it’s in the form of a pay gap, not being able to afford wellness products or services, or not seeing themselves represented to the outside world via ad campaigns and social media.

“We hope the charter provides a clearer idea of what action to take, for organisations that are in support of change but not sure what their next move is.”

Research shows that, on average, individuals from black and minority backgrounds display greater levels of poor health than the general population with evidence indicating that social and economic inequalities are the main causes of this disparity.

Cost also plays a major factor in black and minority groups being able to access wellness products, services or events. In the UK, black people make up 55 per cent of the bottom two lowest income quintiles, therefore the many offerings of the wellness industry are often not affordable.

Finally, a survey found that 42 per cent of black people thought brands weren't doing enough to recognise their culture and 34 per cent said they felt inaccurately portrayed by the ad industry.

To support the charter, click here.

Black Lives Matter  WellSpoken  Sarah Greenidge  charter  equality  reform 
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