The horrific killing of George Floyd and numerous others, including many Black women, and the outpouring of emotion that followed, has been a shocking wake-up call. These events have highlighted the systemic racism that has, for centuries, perpetuated gross inequities and brutality against Black Americans and people of colour across the world, and has laid bare the divide that continues to exist in our understanding of those injustices.
These experiences have prompted intense reflection across our Big Health team, accompanied by extreme emotion, and many difficult conversations. What has become very clear through all of this is that as a company, we sincerely want to be part of a positive change. We are now committing to concrete actions that will result in systemic change — both within Big Health, and we hope also out in the wider world.
Internally, we need to tackle the systems, processes and organisational culture that perpetuate inequity. The diversity of our team and leadership plays a major role in that. So we are bringing in social impact consultants, The Justice Collective, to shine a light on racist processes or systems within Big Health, and help us build the capabilities we all need to create a truly anti-racist and inclusive work environment.
Externally, our mission to help millions back to good mental health provides us with a powerful opportunity — to directly address the disproportionate impact of healthcare inequity on people of colour, and its role in perpetuating poverty. Our digital therapeutics offer a scalable way to address this gap. Therefore, we will work to ensure our products are accessible, relevant and effective for those impacted by historic and present systemic oppression. And we will actively distribute these products, at no cost, to underserved communities, including people of colour and other groups who experience disparate outcomes, who would otherwise be unable to access our products. We will do so as part of our everyday work, and with the same importance as our paid customers. These commitments will require deep evaluation of our product development and commercial processes, and accountability to these goals from the board level down.
With these areas of focus set, we as Founders take responsibility for delivering lasting change. This can’t be just more “white noise”. It will take time, and we will make mistakes. But together, with ingenuity and tenacity, we are committed to reducing inequity for people of colour — both inside Big Health and in the wider world.
Peter & Colin