The S-Factor | mallowstreet week

Pardon the Interruption

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Well, what a week it has been. Every week I begin with a similar statement, but it is a sign of the times that each week is so dichotomous and seemingly world-altering. 


This week we have had news that Britain’s economy is set to contract by 11.5%. In April alone, the UK economy shrank by 20.4%, and reports indicated that Britain has had 60,000+ excess deaths in 2020. Set amongst this backdrop has been the continuation of Black Lives Matter protests across the globe, along with Pride month. 

This week we are going to focus on society. mallowstreet is dedicating its efforts to promoting discussion and education on issues surrounding race, sex, orientation, disability and building a better tomorrow. 

What is the S-Factor and what are we looking to achieve?

“Over the next two weeks on mallowstreet, we are going to take a closer look at how to drive change as individuals and leaders – at your organisation and as a society. We will look at it through multiple lenses – the ‘S Factor’ (think ESG) – sharing experiences and providing practical advice for what people can do today.  Most importantly, we are going to focus on having a conversation. I believe it is only through a dialogue that we can achieve true, systemic change.” Stuart Breyer – read more 

A major catalyst behind this initiative has been the Talk About Black series. Dawid Konotey-Ahulu shared a piece called ‘So, can we talk? #talkaboutblack' ,which was written two years ago, but it sadly is still relevant now it seems. 

Dawid Konotey-Ahulu has given also recorded a special webcast this week, where he discusses the protests and calls for action. Please watch, listen, share and discuss this powerful statement.


His speech was rounding up a morning of discussion from the #IAM #TALKABOUTBLACK session which you can watch in full here

BLM, trustees and how to make a difference 

Sandra Wolf has taken an in-depth look at what trustees can learn from the Black Lives Matter protests. 

She writes: “Trustees represent millions of members from a range of backgrounds, managing trillions of pounds on their behalf. Yet as recently as 2016, an overwhelming 83% of scheme trustees were male, with a quarter of schemes having all male boards. Just 2.5% of trustees were under 30 and a third were over 60. 

“This tendency towards 'male, pale and stale’ pension boards persists despite numerous studies showing that more diverse groups are better at avoiding biases that negatively impact investments, more innovative and overall make better decisions – all of which are likely to result in better member outcomes.” 

So what can you do to improve your board’s diversity and improve your decision-making? Read more

Finally, I wrote a piece asking if one can use white privilege as a force for change, in which I admit that, after decades of misunderstanding racism, I am trying to make a difference, and have three tips which I think can start us all move in the right direction: 

1.       Question your media sharing 
2.       Listen, don’t talk 
3.       Plan to make positive changes for the future 

But these can only work if you first question your own place in the debate… and understand the role you can play.

Let us know your challenges and views on diversity and society. We want all our members to feel free to share, discuss and to learn from one another. We look forward to bringing you more in the coming weeks with some exciting webinars to be announced soon. 

That’s all from me, stay safe, challenge yourself and talk with those who may need some support during these trying times.