Jun 3, 20202 min read

To be silent is to be complicit.

by Sebastian Siemiatkowski

Along with you, I have watched with anger and upset at the events unfolding across the US and other countries over the last few days sparked by the abhorrent killing of George Floyd. I have seen this through my phone, my television and computer screen but I know for many of you it is something you have experienced firsthand. What is now being expressed in the streets, in the media and in homes is not new, and sadly that is at the very heart of this issue. We have all been living with this too long. Nobody should ever feel unsafe, mistreated or discriminated against because of the color of their skin, but yet they still are, everyday. And while the US is in sharp focus, the reaction from people around the world highlights that these issues persist everywhere.

We consider ourselves to be civilised, highly evolved, innovative and forward-thinking in so many aspects of our lives, society and technology and in some ways, of course, we are. But it’s equally as obvious just how long a way there is to go before the fundamental human rights of all people are equally respected. We must condemn racism in all forms.

What we have witnessed goes against everything that we as a company, and that I personally, stand for. We are committed to creating an inclusive working environment, in which people are treated with dignity and respect, they are enabled to develop and deliver, irrespective of their background, the colour of their skin or preferences. However, we should use this moment to step back and take a look at ourselves critically. We can do better. We can do more. We need to work harder to ensure that people of all backgrounds, cultures and perspectives have a voice and a seat in our company. This is what will make us better as colleagues, as leaders, as a company and as citizens. We at Klarna are absolutely committed to these principles.

I realise that no individual or company statement is likely to be that single catalyst for long-term change and it’s therefore easy to feel powerless. However, we cannot let that be a limitation or reason not to act. Klarna will not solve this problem alone but we have a responsibility to foster conscious and collective action to do more and be better citizens. That’s the only way to bring positive action and address inequality. While this will require longer-term actions, we don’t want to wait to do something. In the immediate term, we as a company will donate to both the ACLU and the NAACP and also match all employee donations. Equally, we are exploring ways to ensure we use our platforms to amplify the voices of businesses that should be seen and heard much more.

Be kind to one another.

Sebastian, Founder & CEO

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