Tracey McCarthy runs HR Services Bristol who are perfectly placed to work with businesses across the city to implement policies and procedures to support their staff and raise gender-based violence as a workplace issue. We met with her to talk about what signing up to Bristol Zero Tolerance means to her work.
HR Services Bristol is a consultancy working in the Greater Bristol area providing services to small businesses and not-for-profit organisations around anything to do with employment. Tracey also delivers training on people management issues. The organisation is values-driven and prefers to work with ethical employers that treat people fairly and promote equal opportunities and diversity in the workforce.
For Tracey signing up to Bristol Zero Tolerance “is a recognition of the values that I live by on a daily basis – supporting people in workplaces that are at a disadvantage, and very clearly people who have been affected by domestic abuse are at a disadvantage. It has profound effects on their ability to give their best.”
Previously being on the Board of local domestic abuse service Survive has given Tracey an understanding of the issues that may impact on people and the scale of the problem – “I believe that everyone is affected by domestic abuse, whether that is directly or indirectly. I think it has a huge impact on society and that we all have a responsibility to tackle it, it’s not something we should be passing the buck for. Raising awareness creates the environment for people to speak out and get support and to stand together to do what we can to reduce domestic abuse. We will never completely eradicate it – it’s an on-going fight.”
Her vision for Bristol to become a Zero Tolerance City would mean that an understanding of gender-based violence was “integrated into all areas of the city and not just a bolt-on – it would be nice if there was this integrated approach where people recognise it. Years ago we used to have to talk about equal opportunities, diversity, disability, now we are pretty clued up on that and I would like to see domestic abuse as another one of those issues that affects so many people, that people feel confident and knowledgeable about tackling and supporting people with.”
For HR Services Bristol getting involved in the initiative is a way “to increase my knowledge, awareness and understanding, and ability to support people. I am intending to roll out a project to support managers including upskilling them to be able to tackle [gender-based violence] confidently and competently… For my business it’s the added value in that it sets me apart from other HR consultancies. That I take a holistic approach to issues that will impact on performance in an organisation, and have some tools for employers to be able to use to bring about a positive outcome for employees.”
Tracey is keen to take an innovative approach and work in partnership to address gender-based violence in the city, as she says “I’m absolutely delighted that this initiative is in Bristol, I love that its profile is being raised and I look forward to contributing to getting the word out there.” We are delighted to be working with her too!