The UPFRONT initiative produced by LiFO and Tsomokos is a coalition of organizations and their C-suite leaders committed to leveraging their individual and collective power in order to build equitable and workplaces for professionals with under-represented gender, racial and ethnic identities. We convene a unique network of purposeful leaders to share insight, expertise and innovative programmes that deliver impact.

The challenge

Racism and racial bias are manifested in the social, economic and political disenfranchisement of historically marginalized and minority groups and with a lack of opportunities, lower socio-economic status, higher unemployment and the racial wealth gap. Professionals of under-represented gender, racial and ethnic identities continue to face injustice and inequity in the workplace, and they have been severely underrepresented in leadership. While an integrative and holistic “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” strategy is needed, many corporate programmes fail to address norms and practices that are rooted in specific historical patterns of exclusion, marginalisation and disadvantage.

The objective

As all companies must confront exclusion at a systemic level — addressing everything from the structural and social mechanics of their own organizations to the role they play in the communities in which they operate and the economy at large. The UPFRONT initiative is designed to operationalize and coordinate commitments to eradicate racism in the workplace and set new global standards for racial equity in business. It also provides a platform for businesses to collectively advocate for inclusive policy change. As the initiative evolves, it will seek to increase the visibility of diverse leaders throughout industries, and expand its focus to include additional minority groups.

The Initiative

The initiative originates from LIFO, the most relevant publisher in Greece and the leading corporate communications agency Tsomokos. We both believe that businesses must deliver social value alongside financial value, and that they are in a position to drive progress – demonstrating that open, diverse and inclusive workplaces are good for business, good for employees and good for the economies in which they operate. We are aiming to tackle exclusion, bias and discrimination related to race, gender, ability, sexual orientation and all other forms of human diversity.