Football legend speaks at Princes Inclusion & Diversity week

England football legend John Barnes was the guest speaker at Princes Inclusion & Diversity Week.

The former Liverpool star spoke at a webinar ‘Unite for Anti-Racism’ organised by Princes, one of the UK’s leading food and drink manufacturers, as part of National Inclusion Week.

Princes colleagues joined the live and interactive event from sites around the world as the Group expanded the reach of the UK based event to include its international based colleague population.

During his talk, Barnes said the UK will only make progress in tackling racism when we “look at all people as equals”.

He added: “We have an illusion of inclusion in this country but racism has always been about power, wealth and economics.

“People need to look at themselves, be honest about whether they believe in equality and change the way they think, because we have all been unconsciously conditioned to be discriminatory whether against black people, gay people, women, different races or classes of people.

“We need open dialogue with no fear of being judged to allow change to happen.”

National Inclusion Week is designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in all its forms. Now in its ninth year, the week brings organisations together to celebrate, share and inspire inclusion practices.

A record number of Princes colleagues took part in the company’s Inclusion & Diversity Week.

The week’s activities included a round table event with The Co-Op about ‘Stepping up Inclusion in FMCG’ and vlogs from Princes MD Cameron Mackintosh and Chief People Officer Joe Dent about how everyone is welcome and valued in the company.

Colleagues were encouraged to recognise fellow workers who have inspired or empowered them.

The Inclusion Week also saw the launch of the Pride in Princes Inclusion Award, designed to recognise colleagues who go out of their way to put inclusion at the heart of everything they do.

Joe Dent, Chief People Officer of Princes, which has just been named Employer of the Year at The Grocer’s Gold Awards 2021, said: “We were delighted to hear John Barnes speak and engage with our colleagues at the webinar and to hear how he tackles head on the issues of racism and prejudice. He gave a thought-provoking and insightful talk which has been very well received.

“At Princes, every colleague has a role and responsibility in making a positive difference and enabling us to become a true leader in the field of Inclusion & Diversity.

“We are at the beginning of this journey which is why we are so keen to listen and to learn as much as we can.”