Four key steps for race equality in the workplace

There are just over 40 million people in the UK working-age population of which 5.1 million or 13% are from an ethnic minority background. In the UK, employment rates are disproportionate – latest figures from the Labour Force Survey (July - September 2014) shows the overall employment rate as 73.2% compared to only 62.4% for BAME people – an employment rate gap of 10.8 percentage points Employers who undertake to work on the three major steps below will provide a platform for the progression and greater mobility of BAME people and in addition benefit from a greater and more diverse talent pool.

Management 
Race for Opportunity research1 cites lack of support from managers by 3 out of 10 workers of African,Caribbean and Indian origin for their slow career progression. This fact together with one out of five white British workers naming the same issue points to a wider problem across the country's workforce as a whole. It is clear that creating an environment where everyone can flourish and be engaged is paramount in developing a truly inclusive workplace. The research highlights three basic demands of employees,those of feeling valued with proper pay and adequate training


Monitoring 
Significant leaders over the years have advocated monitoring  to help identify the ‘ bottle necks ‘ in the talent pipeline and to identify where to target action and resources. It is difficult if not impossible to manage what is not measured. Effective monitoring is an important tool for measuring performance and progress towards equality and diversity.
Monitoring enables organisations to examinehow their employment policies and processes are working and to identify areas where these appear to be impacting disproportionally on certain groups of staff.   RfO research2 advocates the definition of clear key performance indicators (KPI’s) to monitor and demonstrate success in attracting,recruiting and retaining BAME people. Initiatives should be sense checked for fairness, inclusion as well as impact. 
It should be remembered that what gets measured gets done! 
 

Mentoring
The importance of mentoring in achieving race diversity cannot be underestimated. The plain fact is that ethnic minorities who advance the furthest in their career all share one characteristic -  a strong network of mentors and corporate sponsors who nurture their professional development.
Mentoring helps to expand your peer networks, it can also help to enhance skills and sometimes provides the opportunity to develop new ones.
Find out about the Race for Opportunity mentoring intiatives>> - 
 

Progression
Management, monitoring and mentoring combine to increase the mobility of a BAME person in the workplace. Race for Opportunity3 examined the aspirations of BAME people and found that certain professions are frustratingly seen as closed to them. The reasons for this phenomenon are varied and at times subtle.  We need more senior role models, we need to reduce unconscious bias in employers recruitment, appraisal and promotion processes and we need to improve perceptions in the media to help to facilitate the recruitment and progression of BAME people into all sectors and industries. 

1Race to Progress
Race at the Top
3Aspiration and Frustration -