Race equality campaign aims

Image of magenta triangle representing the vision of squaring the pyramid

The image above depicts the vision of Business in the Community Race Equality Leadership Team. This vision is to ‘square the pyramid’ so that there is a more balanced representation of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people at all levels within the workforce, with role models visible to the next generation of talent in the UK.

Organisations should aim to reflect the communities in which they operate so that they are better able to serve an increasingly diverse, and global, customer base and to develop policies for the UK’s ever changing landscape of stakeholders.

  • The base of the pyramid: one in four children in primary and secondary schools in the UK  are from a BAME background or heritage
  • The centre segment of the pyramid: one in eight of the UK working age population is from a BAME background. 
  • The top of the pyramid: one in 16 current private and public sector board members and executive teams are from a BAME background 

To achieve this vision, Business in the Community’s race campaign has three main aims that focus on leadership, progression and recruitment.

Employers getting race equality in the UK right would provide a potential boost of £24 billion to the UK economy, 1.5 GDP1

1McGregor-Smith Review 'Race in the Workplace', Feb 2017

Campaign aim: Leadership

Our aim is to increase the number of BAME people in leadership on boards and executive levels and to increase the number of senior champions and executive sponsors for race at senior levels.

  • Only one in 16 in a top management position in the public or private sector is from a BAME Background1
  • Only one in 3 employees can identify a leader at the top of their organisation who promotes race and diversity.2
  • More employers need to bring the issue of race inequality to the top table within their organisation and with their peers.2

What do we want government to do?

  • Support the Financial Reporting Council during its 2016 consultation of the UK Corporate Governance Code to add “and race” to its definition of diversity.

What do we want employers to do?

  • Review their succession planning lists to include diverse talent.
  • Ask Head Hunters and Executive Search consultants for a diverse slate of candidates. 
  • Link the champion/executive sponsor individual’s responsibilities to performance objective(s) and key performance indicator(s)(KPI's). 
  • Encourage board members and senior leaders to become involved in reciprocal/reverse mentoring. 


Find out more:

'And Race' - Equality takes a step forward >>
The Financial Reporting Council  add 'and race' to the preface of the 2014 Financial Council Corporate Governance Code as a direct result of our call to action. 

Race to the Top>>
This report paints a picture of the successes and barriers to success for BAME workers seeking management positions.


Campaign aim: Progression

Our aim is to increase diverse representation of BAME people at management levels and to speed up the progression of BAME employees in the workplace

BAME people have far greater ambition than their white counterparts.  63% of BAME and 41% of white employees said they want to progress.2  Interest in taking part in a fast-track programme is significantly higher among BAME groups, jumping from 18% of white employees who would take part to 40% of BAME employees.2  Whilst only one in 10 of people in the workplace is from a BAME background only one in 13 is a management position and this gap is widening.Employers need to take a step-change in action to enable diverse talent to progress within their organisation.

What do we want Government to do?

  • Use its procurement spending power  as it did during the London 2012 Games to ensure that businesses that tender for public contracts can demonstrate their commitment to race diversity with evidence of their policies and action on the recruitment, retention and progression of BAME employees.1 

What do we want employers to do?

  • Monitor their workforce by ethnicity and management level. 
  • Track participation of minority ethnic employees on fast-track or development programmes and training that feed into leadership progression.
  • Managers should have performance objectives to identify potential talented diverse employees and to bring on to their teams.
  • Ensure that talent pipelines are actively monitored and the progression rate of minority ethnic employees is known.

Find out more:

Infographic: Bias by Sector>>
This infographic shows the difference in levels of unconscious racial bias within 12 sectors across the globe. 

Bridging the value gap>>
Tools for senior leaders, line managers and individuals to bring value to direct relationships and organisational culture.

Race to Progress>>
Ensuring race is no barrier to workers' career prospects. This research examines the high levels of ambition and motivation of BAME British workers


Campaign aim: Recruitment

Our aim is to ensure all recruitment processes are free from discrimination and racial bias at every stage and take steps to outreach and to attract diverse talent.

One in eight of the working age population is from a BAME background, yet only one in 10 is in the workplace. 

We are calling on employers to ensure the growth in BAME talent gaining access to employment is proportionate to their entry into the labour market.

What do we want Government to do?

  • Draw up a policy framework on race that includes a strong recruitment agenda to close the employment gap which has stubbornly persisted for many years.2

What do we want employers to do?

  • Widen access to meaningful work experience 
  • Track the progress of all job applicants through the recruitment process by ethnicity, and use this data to identify potential barriers to recruitment 
  • Mandate unconscious bias training to those with interviewing and recruitment  responsibilities
  • Set targets for recruiters to provide a diverse slate of candidates using census data to understand the diversity of local and national talent pools. 
  • Run ‘pre-application’ events or similar for diverse groups to further prospective candidates’ understanding of your application and recruitment process. 
  • Ensure BAME people are involved in each stage of the application process including on interview panels where possible


Find out more: 

Infographic: Is Britain Biased?
Exploring the results of implicit racial bias test data from the UK, USA and Europe.

Infographic:  The Census Years and Regional Fact Sheets 
Useful for employers, local authorities and policy makers to inform long-term planning and collaboration to ensure that they are taking action today against inequality in the workplace in the future. 

Race and Recruitment - exposing the barriers to recruitment industry engagement>>
Develop a strategy and take action to improve employers' recrutiment agency processes. 

How to conduct diverse recruitment>>
A series of documents designed to assist and offer guidance in the workplace for the recruitment of ethnic minorities. 



1  Race at  the Top
2  Race at Work