Client spotlight: Flair - From football app to tackling racial bias

How Flair successfully pivoted to help top organisations advance racial equity in the workplace

What a journey it has been for Flair Impact, a tech company helping organisations measure their progress to creating racially equitable cultures.

Flair started life as a football startup, giving amateur football players metrics on their performance. But after the pandemic put a stop to matches for a while—and after seeing the racial justice pledges rolling in following the murder of George Floyd in 2020—cofounders Nii Cleland and Darrell Coker decided to change tack.

Today, Flair is an analytics platform designed to help organisations measure, understand and overcome racial bias. In December 2021 it raised a $1.8m seed round led by Hoxton Ventures and is working with an impressive roster of clients including the Premier League, EY, Network Rail, parts of the NHS, and over 80 schools.

From football app to tackling racial bias

Why the pivot

The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement has led to growing momentum across organisations to tackle racial inequity. Recent research conducted by Flair across 600 UK business leaders concluded that 79% of businesses say racial equity is a priority for their business in 2022.

Why? As well as the moral imperative, there is continued mounting external pressure building from employees, regulators and society driving change.

  • 42% of Black employees in the UK have resigned from their job due to inequity – Savanta, 2021
  • In 2023, Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting is expected to be introduced – CIPD, 2021
  • 58% of UK 18-34 year olds feel more needs to be done to support ethnic minorities – Ipsos, 2021
From football app to tackling racial bias

However, despite the pressure for change, co-founders Nii and Darrell, quickly recognised that the industry was lacking the tools to effectively measure progress towards racial equity. This gap in the market was causing pain for leaders as they were unable to effectively identify racial bias, guide interventions, understand the impact of initiatives on racial equity outcomes, and report on progress to key stakeholders.

How it works

To solve the challenges leaders were facing, Flair launched a platform that is designed to measure and build cultures where all ethnicities can thrive. It does this by collecting data from everyone across an organisation and measuring four main metrics: racial awareness, racial diversity, racist behaviour and racial inclusion barriers.

The survey includes situational judgment tests — putting people in situations where they’re witnessing forms of racism, and seeing how they respond — as well as questions around whether their ethnicity has ever been a barrier in the workplace.

Based on the outcomes, Flair gives organisations a dashboard that visualises their performance and offers recommendations based on their unique results. That can range from things like enacting active bystander training to quicker wins like encouraging people to include phonetic
pronunciations of their names in their email signatures.

“Innovation is not only about science or technology. It’s about creative ideas helping to reduce or even solve issues. Innovation with a social impact such as Flair’s is often underestimated while it can benefit from as much support as any technologically advanced one. At Leyton diversity and inclusion are part of our DNA. This makes us even prouder to help Flair’s team unlock more funding for their projects”Marco Spiro, Associate Director, Leyton

Download the UK 2022 Report

If you are interested in forming a strategy on racial equity that maximises ROI, download Racial Equity in the Workplace: UK 2022 Report to find out how to get started. Flair surveyed 600 business leaders from across the UK to find out how organisations are tackling racial equity in the workplace and recommend what action needs to be taken to drive material change.

For more information visit www.flairimpact.com or contact team@flairimpact.com