Walking a mile in other people’s shoes – leading with empathy
Our Head of PR in Manchester, Becki Ord, reflects on the importance of empathy and her experience working with Spectra in supporting the Care Leaver Covenant.
At Social empathy is one of our core behaviours, it flows through our business and the way that we operate. Empathy towards our clients, empathy towards our colleagues and a wider empathy to the people around us.
The ability to understand and share the feelings of other people certainly goes a long way at the moment as we navigate the personal and professional challenges the coronavirus pandemic throws at us. And, if there is one positive we can take away from this moment in time is the ability to be more empathetic. To listen and to understand another person’s point of view. I do realise though that empathy comes more easily to some people than it does to others.
However, I encourage you to embrace the spirit of empathy as it has the ability to extend even further than to the people who are close to us. Now, more than ever, I believe is a time for even more businesses to be leading with empathy.
We are proud to be collaborating with the brilliant Spectra, a social value company whose work is tackling social inequality and supporting under-represented young people and underserved communities.
Spectra are the delivery partner of the Care Leaver Covenant, which is funded by the Department of Education and set up in 2016 as part of the government’s ‘Keep on Caring’ strategy. The Care Leaver Covenant tackles the disadvantages that young people aged 16-25 face when leaving care and helps them to live independently.
Working with a range of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors, who sign up to the Covenant, tangible opportunities for care leavers are created, including employment, education and training, safety and security, health, financial independence and independent living.
Business leaders who are looking to become more empathetic and ensure that social value and purpose are at the heart of their business can collaborate with Spectra and the Care Leaver Covenant to drive this forward.
On Thursday 29 October Spectra and the Care Leaver Covenant are delivering a very special event – The Empathy Summit. The virtual diversity and inclusion forum will challenge the business and education communities to be more empathetic to the care leaver population and ensure the most vulnerable young people are presented with opportunities to lead healthy and successful lives.
Driving social value, Spectra works with businesses, philanthropists, local authorities and the government to plan and deliver social value through strategy development, agile recruitment, training and mentoring, navigating the funding landscape and the delivery of commercial ventures underpinned by social value.
Through the Care Leaver Covenant, they are collaborating with many fantastic businesses and educational establishments, including ENGIE, ITV, NCG, Amazon, Trowers and Hamlin and Metro Bank, to name but a few, to champion and support care leavers.
They are helping their partners understand the barriers and challenges that young care leavers face when entering the world of work and independent living. The current landscape is challenging enough for young people and even harder for those young people who do not have a family to support them.
I’m proud that we are able to play a part in amplifying their work because Social shares Spectra’s ambition to enhance the outcomes of disadvantaged young people and we have a passion for changing and improving lives – by walking a mile in other people’s shoes.
Before I close, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from one of my favourite books that sums up the concept of empathy as a father shares some thoughts to his young daughter on the advantages of employing empathy:
If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee