'And Race' - Equality Takes a Step Forward

Timeline graphic of 'and race' terminology added to Governance Code

'And Race' in Preface of 2014 Financial Council Corporate Governance Code

This is as a direct result from a call for action included in the Race at the Top report, launched in June this year. The report reveals that the gap of BAME people in senior leadership had widened between 2008 and 2012 in the private and public sectors.  Positive conversations have been held with the Financial Reporting Council culminating in this game changing alteration to the terminology used.  

Including this small yet significant amendment will be a clear and strong signal to UK employers that the FRC understands the importance of employers embracing diversity across race as well as gender

- Sandra Kerr OBE,
Director, Race for Opportunity

Race at the Top includes recommendations for both employers and politicians and affirms that the timing is right for business and government to work togther for real change. By focussing on three key areas: recruitment, progression and leadership employers can support BAME workers to achieve management and leadership positions thereby ensuring the workplace is a true reflection of society. With the general election on the horizon, now is the time for political parties of all hues to ensure that race equality is high up on the agenda and featured prominently in their manifestos. 

Download the Race at the Top recommendations and take action


The Story Unfolds

Sandra Kerr OBE, Director, Race for Opportunity calls for action: 

Are We In Danger of Passing the Point of No Return as BAME Management Gap Grows?
Unless action is taken now, very little will change.  Race for Opportunity is calling for two words ' and race' to be added to UK Governance Code 

Elitist Britain- How can We Break Through the Class Ceiling? 
Britain needs to find new and creative ways to recognise talent and unleash potential.  

Is Having a Race Action Plan Racist? 
Blogging  in support of The BBC's plan to increase the number of people it employs from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds,  Sandra highlights that employers need to tackle the situation now by showing leadership and commitment.

Race and Gender Inclusion Make Progress

Business in the Community Work to Move the Inclusion and Diversity Dial Forward

Opportunity Now seconded a policy officer to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to support the Davies review on Women on Boards.  Through that, Opportunity Now directly supported dialogue between Lord Davies and the Financial Reporting Council, and supported consequent Davies recommendation on amending the Corporate Governance Code, which was taken forward by the FRC, backed by Opportunity Now members who responded to the consultation. From the beginning we called for the widening of the definition of diversity in the code, and RfO’s achievement of the addition of “and race” is hugely welcome. 


Understanding the Impact

Including this small yet significant amendment will be a clear and strong signal to UK employers that the FRC understands the importance of employers embracing diversity across race as well as gender. Currently one in four young people in both primary and secondary education is from an ethnic minority background, and by 2050 one in three of the working age population will be from an ethnic minority background. Organisations need to build race and gender diversity into their succession plans now to future proof for the rapidly changing demographic of diverse customers, clients and communities. Amending the UK Corporate Governance Code to include ‘and race’ will go a long way in encouraging organisations to adapt to an evolving marketplace.

Next Steps

Race for Opportunity is in consultation with the Race for Opportunity Advisory Board and  Race for Opportunity Champion members to build on the momentum and appetite for change.