A group of diverse people in suits



One in eight of the working-age population1  is from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, yet only one in ten are in the workplace.

BAME people are over-represented in UK universities2  yet they are still 2-3 times less likely,than their white counterparts to secure full-time work six months after graduation.3
We are calling on employers to ensure that all recruitment processes are free from discrimination and racial bias4 at every stage and to take steps to attract diverse talent.


Call to action for employers

  • Track the progress of all job applicants throughout the recruitment process by ethnicity. Use this data to help identify any potential barriers to recruitment and create targeted action plans that address specific challenges. This data enables employers to understand what adjustments may need to be made.5
  • Ensure that all employees involved in the recruitment process, from the outreach and attraction stages to the final selection panel, undertake unconscious bias training. This activity, which applies to internal staff and external agencies, correlates with more improved rates of recruitment of BAME talent into organisations. We have developed a taster tool for assessing unconcious bias, view the 5 Points for Progress tookit.
  • Run ‘pre-application’ events or similar for diverse groups. This helps to ensure prospective candidates understand the application and recruitment process. Aspiration and Frustration 20106 spotlighted that some sectors appear ‘closed off’ to some BAME candidates, and lacking in transparency about how to access them.
  • Consider demonstrating your good practice in attracting and recruiting diverse talent by entering our Annual Awards and Best Employers for Race listing >>



Call to action for government

We want government to: 

  • 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.7



Moving the agenda forward

  • The Youth Advisory Panel  established by the Race Equality Board is helping employers with their outreach activities as well as providing advice on attracting diverse talent.
  • Each of our 10 Regional Factsheets has a section on education, outlining where BAME people are studying in the UK. This data can help employers to reach out to diverse talent. 
  • Our publications How to conduct diverse recruitment  and Monitoring ethnicity are comprehensive guides for employers wanting to improve the ethnicity of their workforce.

1 Fact file London's Working-Age Populations (Apr 2013 - Mar 2014) and also Race to the Top 2008, Census 2011 'slide me' infographic and Labour Market Status by Ethnicity (April - June 2014) and Labour Market Status by Ethnicity (July - Sept 2014)
BAME Women in the UK 2010
2 Ethnic Minorities in STEM February 2015, Ethnic Minorities in Law 2010, Ethnic Minorities and the Retail Sector 2010, Ethnic Minorities in Business, Finance Administration and Mathematics 2010, Ethnic Minorities in Media, and the Regional Factsheets March 2013
3 Race into Higher Education: the Race into Work  June 2011 and Race into Work Revisited August 2015 and Race and Recruitment: Exposing the barriers February 2012

4Sector Infographic 'Interactive'  2015
   Race and Gender Benchmark report 2014

 6Aspiration and Frustration 2010
 7Race at Work November 2015
 8Youth Advisory Panel front page
 9How to conduct diverse recruitment  August 2012 
10 Monitoring ethnicity June 2012