Sandra Kerr OBE, Director, Race Equality Campaign Director, Business in the Community
Today Business in the Community is launching the UK’s largest ever survey of race at work in the UK, in partnership with YouGov. We’re aiming to reach 10,000 Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) and white people in employment in order to understand more about their experiences of race at work – www.raceatwork.org.uk. It’s a huge undertaking, but it’s vital if we are going to understand the reasons behind persistent under-representation of BAME people in Britain’s workplaces.
“ The collective voice of 10,000 people means we can inform guidance to employers committed to fair and equal workplaces that reflects the customers and communities they serve. ”
BAME people are under-represented at every level of work, and evidence gathered to date shows that underlying cultures and processes may contribute to ethnic minorities not being treated equally in the workplace. The ‘Race at the Top’ report found that one in 16 people in senior management positions is BAME, compared to 13 per cent of the overall UK population. Our Gender and Race Benchmark 2014 also found that BAME candidates are less likely to succeed in recruitment or to be rated as top performers, compared to their white peers. With the UK BAME population projected to rise to one in five by 2051, we need to hear the reality for today’s employees – or risk these gaps becoming even wider.
It would be easy to think that this is a problem that will solve itself as those currently in senior positions are gradually replaced by younger, more progressive leaders. However, that may not turn out to be the case. We have analysed global results of an online test for unconscious racial bias with 2.5 million participants across the UK, US and Europe, and found 18-24 year olds have a stronger racial bias than any other age group globally. This busts the myth that we can wait for the next generation to solve inequality. Instead, business and government must change now, and change fast, so we can plan for the future we want.
The collective voice of 10,000 people means we can inform guidance to employers committed to fair and equal workplaces that reflects the customers and communities they serve. But we can’t do it without you. Whatever your ethnicity, industry or position on the career ladder, your views will help us move away from debate and straight into action for the benefit of business and society.
So take the survey now – it takes 13 minutes – and be part of this change. Share it with your friends, family and colleagues, and help us share even more of the situation around race at work in Britain today.
The survey is open until Sunday 13th September 2015 and is available via the following link: http://www.raceatwork.org.uk
I would like to thank our sponsors BT, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Nationwide and Sainsbury’s, and our research partner YouGov.