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The privilege eruption

Just before Christmas 2021, as everyone was considering whether they could hold a traditional Christmas party, the headlines filled up with reports of how the Prime Minister and his closest colleagues were in the midst of a ‘Privilege’ fuelled story, where he and others in government were not following the very laws they had created to control the spread of the Covid virus. The Privilege rallying call - "it’s one rule for them and another rule for us” echoed across the media. A government, meant to act responsibly, were flouting their own rules, driven by a sense of Privilege and entitlement, and then flatly denying what they had clearly done.

We share the overwhelming eruption of distaste for this use of Privilege and entitlement. The outrage expressed gave a us a real sense of hope, but more importantly we now recognise the consequence of exercising a culture of Privilege; the very real and tangible reputational damage that this issue has caused for the government and for the party they represent.

So, have we REALLY become a fairer society?

Today most organisations in the UK frown upon the use of race, social standing, religion, sexual orientation or disability to dis-advantage another person, and many organisations have implemented policies to prevent or act on the use of Privilege. Is this enough to prevent the abuse of privilege?

Intelligent Linking have been discussing the conundrum of ‘Privilege’ with cultural experts Belonging Pioneers and Culture Lab Consultancy to understand how it impacts our working lives.

Prior to the recent headlines, we found that many people felt labelled with an ‘unconscious’ use of Privilege; where people exercising Privilege had little awareness of the impact of their actions on another. When challenged on this behaviour, some act in ‘alarm’, some seek ways to excuse or minimise their Privileged intent: “that was not my intention”, and some flatly deny that their actions were those of a ‘Privileged’ individual or group.

There is significant research and data collected on what gets in the way of equity, diversity and inclusion at work, but little data exists about the impact of privilege-risk - the potential for your organisation to suffer significant reputational damage as a consequence of the inappropriate use of privilege.

To uncover the tangible impact of Privilege today, we put together this survey. The survey is designed to assess how conscious or unconscious use of Privilege affects you, and your place of work.

How you feel about Privilege, whether it has impacted you, or whether you feel the issue is overstated, we want to hear from you so that we can generate meaningful data about the impact of privilege today.

The survey link below will open the survey and it will take between 5-10 minutes to complete. The survey focuses on your experience in your workplace. If you are retired or still in full time education, this survey is not for you right now, however we do thank you for your interest.

We invite you to complete the privilege survey here ….

Please also share with your colleagues and networks.

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