We need action not words to move the race agenda forward

The CMI has today published a new report on race and ethnicity in the management pipeline.  The report 'Delivering Diversity, Race and Ethnicity in the Management Pipeline'  with forwards by Pavita Cooper, Chair of the Research Advisory Board, Ann Francke CMI CEO and Prof Sir Cary Cooper CBE, BAM President, reiterates the findings of the McGregor- Smith review published earlier in 2017 and provides case studies on the lived experiences of BAME Managers. 

Key findings:

  • The silence around race and ethnicity needs to end
  • Lessons learnt from the gender agenda can be transferred.
  • Publicly setting and reporting on key diversity indicators is a major lever of accountability and change.
  • Sponsorship is key to progression
  • Role models show the organisation welcomes diversity.

Key drivers of change:

  • 54% of senior FTSE 100 leaders champion BAME Diversity1
  • Full representation of BAME would be worth £24 billion a year to the UK economy2
  • Only 6% of managers in the UK are BAME3

On reading the report Sandra Kerr OBE, Business in the Community Race Equality Director said: 

''Business in the Community welcomes this report, which echoes the findings and recommendations from our Race at Work report (2015) and the McGregor-Smith Review into Race in the Workplace (2017).

However, we don’t need another report - we need employers to act and to get comfortable talking about race as the first priority.  It’s important to come to a conversation curiously but doing this respectfully is also important. The McGregor-Smith Review recommendations about data transparency for organisations with over 50 employees are a great starting point for this.  I would like to see FTSE 100 employers leading the way on this.

The report’s emphasis on the importance of role models and progression is also important. Our Race at Work survey and Diversity Benchmark spotlight how much mentoring is valued by BAME employees and our Cross Organisational Mentoring Circle programme is now in its 5th year with over 20 employers participating around the country.

I am particularly pleased to see the promotion of benchmarking in the report and want to flag up three important trends for all employers to watch out for: Ensure there are no racial disparities on who receives the top two performance markings; ensure that there is fair representation of those from BAME backgrounds when looking at who has high potential; and ensure that talented people from BAME backgrounds are included in fast-track and high profile management programmes. This approach will improve BAME representations at all levels and help organisations truly reflect the communities they operate in.''



1 McGregor-Smith Review 2017

2 Parker Review 2016

3 BEIS 2017