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Like me, I’m sure you are struggling to make any sense of the tragic death of George Floyd and many others in the US. No form of racism is acceptable or can be tolerated, and the fact that events such as this keep happening is truly heart-breaking. What’s even worse is that we know there are many more instances of racial injustice taking place every day in the US and around the world.
Urgent change is needed in society to tackle racism and to ensure equality for all, regardless of colour. The strength of feeling we are experiencing is understandable, and a movement is growing that I am hopeful will change society, but this must be done in a peaceful manner. Together we need to ensure that there is an open, candid, and constructive dialogue. Above all, we need to speak up and address bias wherever we see it – whether conscious or unconscious – and change our own behaviours and attitudes.
Together, we have made great progress building a culture within AstraZeneca that values inclusion and diversity, but we can do more. I am personally committed to driving forward discussions with our employee resource groups about additional actions we can take. The recent events have also resulted in an incredible level of new engagement with our employees who have identified further ways to foster an even more inclusive environment with the goal that everyone feels valued and able to meet their full potential.
These events are devastating, and I hope with all my heart that society will come together. Racism and discrimination have to become a thing of the past, and everyone should be able to live their lives without fear and with every opportunity to fulfill their hopes and dreams. I ask that you join me in making a collective contribution to building a better society.