Racial bias training for Starbucks employees – but its not just a US issue

  • Business in the Community’s Race at Work report found that less than half of UK employers conduct equality, diversity and inclusion training
  • Our recent ‘Is Britain Biased?’ research found that 18-24-year-olds have the highest racial bias in the UK compared to other age groups
 
 
 
Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community, said:
 
 
”This issue is not limited to the US – Business in the Community’s Race at Work report found that less than half of UK employers conduct equality, diversity and inclusion training, and this training was only mandatory for 7% of managers. This is particularly concerning in light of our recent ‘Is Britain Biased?’ research, which found that 18-24-year-olds have the highest racial bias in the UK compared to other age groups and 66% of top executives have some racial bias. We also know that people in the UK are three times more likely to take unconscious bias tests for race than for gender, age or sexuality, but only 11% of people taking this test did so because their employer encouraged them to do so. To combat this, we urge employers to offer unconscious bias training to their employees
 
All employers should build this necessary training into their existing mandatory training programmes for all employees, and ensure that they receive ‘refresher’ training at regular intervals. Training for managers should also cover how to sensitively address complaints of racial bullying and harassment at work from employees, including from customers and contractors, and communicate a zero tolerance policy of such behaviour throughout the organisation.
 
We know that less than half of UK employees are comfortable talking about race at work, and unconscious bias training can be a great opportunity for employers and employees to challenge and discuss policy, actions and processes in a constructive way. Our Let’s Talk About Race pocket guide was produced to help employers break the ice in these conversations and I would encourage all organisations to use it to start open, honest discussions about race in the workplace.”

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