Race at Work One Year On - A New Report 'Equality, Diversity And Racism In The Workplace'

Blog by Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community

One year ago today we published our Race at Work report. And this week the University of Manchester published its report ‘Equality, Diversity and Racism in the Workplace’​, written by Dr Stephen D Ashe and Professor James Nazroo, from the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE). The report is a thematic review and qualitative analysis of more than 5,000 free text responses submitted to Business in the Community’s 2015 Race at Work survey in collaboration with YouGov, all of which are linked to racial bullying and harassment and leadership on race and diversity in the workplace. 

The report finds that “racism remains a persistent, if not routine and systematic, feature of work life in Britain, thus contributing the organisation of society in ways that structurally disadvantage ethnic minority workers”.

The report makes seven recommendations for government that I, as Race Equality Director of Business in the Community, support and believe that if undertaken will see the government contribute significantly to ensuring that racism in the workplace is appropriately responded to and that racist behaviour and incidents are eradicated. There are also 11 recommendations for employers. Our Tackling Racial Bullying and Harassment Toolkit is available for employers to ensure they have a policy in place that is backed up with leadership and practical actions.

The University of Manchester review, which was commissioned by Business in the Community, has taken steps to praise and acknowledge progress where it has been made, yet also highlight what still needs to be done to ensure that racism is stamped out of UK workplaces. 

It is of paramount importance that ethnic minorities in UK workplaces do not experience racist behaviour from colleagues, managers, customers, clients and service users in their daily working lives.

Thank you to BT, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, KPMG, Nationwide and Sainsbury’s for their sponsorship and support that has enabled this new insight into racial harassment and bullying and leadership on equality and diversity in the workplace to be examined.  Thank you to the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) for taking on the review and thank you to the 24,457 people who completed the survey and to more than 5000 people who made further in depth comments and shared their stories with us. I commend Equality, Diversity and Racism in the Workplace as essential reading.