Race Equality in Focus - Responsible Business in Action

Responsible employers are inclusive employers. Tackling any race disparities in the workplace will provide a potential economic boost to the UK of £24bn annually1.

One in four children in UK primary school and secondary school education is from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background; one in eight of the working-age population has a BAME background, but only one in ten are in the workplace2. The pyramid narrows further with only one in 16 at senior level3. Responsible businesses are tackling racial disparities and taking action to square this pyramid in their organisations and the Race at Work 2018 Scorecard report highlighted only 33% of organisations had an executive sponsor for race, diversity and inclusion.

We are delighted that the finalists for the Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race Equality Awards, highlight examples of excellence in the workplace.  
 
Our Campaigns
The Race at Work 2018 Scorecard report provided the foundation and evidence for Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter, launched with the support of the Prime Minister.

The Charter now has more than 150 signatories across a range of sectors in the UK. This publicly demonstrates their commitment to five principles: leadership; capturing data and publishing it; commitment at board level to zero tolerance on harassment and bullying; making diversity and inclusion the responsibility of all leaders and managers; and taking action that supports ethnic minority employees' career progression.

The Race at Work Charter survey is open for all employers to complete until 31 May 2019. We will be reporting employer trends and promoting the stories with the greatest impact in October 2019.  

 

Headlines from the Finalists for Business in the Community's Responsible Business Awards 2019 - The Race Equality Award
 
1. A big focus on BAME representation at senior levels
Inspiring more young black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees to join the ranks and thrive in business is core to achieving diversity and inclusion goals. In 2015, just 5.6% of new joiners at Accenture were black, despite being well represented for BAME talent in both executive and non-executive roles. Now, the firm has targets for the recruitment and progression of black employees across all areas of the business.

2. Targets being met using data
Rather than merely developing campaigns and initiatives based on anecdotal evidence, more programmes for encouraging BAME progress are data-driven and insight-led, looking at race diversity across the full employee lifecycle.

3. Diversity boosts business
In the first half of 2018, black headcount at Accenture grew by 10%, and by 34% in the last five years. The company says that the ability to reach this talent pool has supported overall growth as a business.

4. Representing local communities is key to growth
More firms recognise the need to better reflect the communities in which they serve. By attracting talent from a diverse group, companies are able to talk more authentically to local stakeholders. Since Enterprise Rent-A-Car started focusing more heavily on diversity, it has opened over 200 new locations in the UK, customer satisfaction has improved and its BAME workforce has increased.
 
5. More companies are teaming up with universities…
…especially those with a strong BAME population. To make sure BAME hire is above the local or regional average, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will, for example, make sure there is BAME representation at university career fairs.
 
6. Helping BAME employees realise their potential
EY’s Future Leaders Programme, for example, is designed to support ‘high potential’ ethnic minority senior managers who are at least four years away from partnership to thrive within the business. It is working. The current leadership pipeline has a good proportion of ethnic minorities: 21% for the next two years. 
 
7. It’s good to talk
One of the popular approaches to fostering inclusiveness and diversity is to encourage different groups of employees to better interact. The KPMG Black Heritage Reverse Mentoring Programme, for example, matches senior partners with more junior black heritage mentors so that they can have confidential discussions – not just about work, but also about life experiences and progressing at the firm.
 
References
1. Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (2017) Race in the workplace: The McGregor-Smith Review. Available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/race-in-the-workplace-the-mcg...
2. Business in the Community (2014) Race at the Top, available at https://race.bitc.org.uk/all-resources/research-articles/race-top
3. ibid