'The fact that there are more FTSE CEOs called David and Steve than there are women or ethnic minorities put together says it all', Hephzi Pemberton, CEO at Equality Group.
The results form Business in the Community's Race at Work 2018: The Scorecard Report highlight 'British black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the workplace are ambitious, but there is a lack of opportunity and a strong desire for opportunities that is not being fulfilled. This is a waste of talent, energy, enthusiasm and expertise. The UK workplace remains uncomfortable talking about race. Employers need to create more opportunities to enable employees to do so'.
There are three key main – and mutually reinforcing – reasons why employees from BAME backgrounds are underrepresented in management positions: a lack of opportunities, discrimination and the absence of role models.
Businesses need to take real action to tackle racial disparities in their pay, progression and recruitment practices.
During the TTC's July 2020 Hackathon, subject matter experts were tasked with hacking the topic 'Making Organisations Inclusive for Black Employees'. Teams created 4 roadmaps, 'Education and Allyship', 'Recruiting Black Employees', 'Promoting, Developing and Retaining Black Employees' and 'Black Employee Networks'. Each roadmap details the high-level menu of the most important actions organisations should consider.
- Make concrete leadership commitments and make them public to move work forward. This is what Google committed to in June 2020 and Linklaters in Oct 2020
- For organisations that want to take race equality and diversity of leadership seriously, this is a list of actionable recommendations the Equality Group developed of the top five must-dos and the five good-to-dos.
- 10 steps to non optical Allyship
- Expedia's 10 Tips For White Allies
- Understand how Black employees want to be addressed - here is a new guide, produced by https://incarts.uk/ #BAMEover
- Be creative, proactive and provocative to encourage action: see 'A Letter For Your CEO On Racism' by Stephen Frost.
- Appoint an executive sponsor for race, diversity and inclusion. Without this, it becomes much harder for organisations to set strategic aims with action plans and to meaningfully benchmark progress. Senior leaders need to speak up and talk publicly about their organisation’s commitments. They need to develop and own action plans for increasing the representation of BAME employees and for closing the ethnicity pay gap. They should show personal leadership by seeking out talented BAME employees to mentor and sponsor, and get their senior managers and direct reports to do the same.
- According to research from the CIPD, “BAME employees are significantly more likely to say that your identity or background can influence the opportunities you are given than white employees”. Research shows that employees from a BAME background often do not have access to the contacts, networks or prospects required to successfully climb the career ladder. Guidance and advice from a senior figure like a mentor could be the difference between an employee progressing in their career and not. Simple initiatives such as mentoring programmes, training and development courses and stronger employee networks are ways that employees from BAME backgrounds can better progress and further their careers.
- EY’s Career Watch Sponsorship Programme helps open the door to women and black minority ethnic talents, by pairing them with the firm’s senior partners.
- Monitor and report on the organisation's ethnicity pay gap and produce a narrative and action plan. Progress against the action plan should be included in subsequent reports, to drive tangible change in recruitment, management, development and promotion of employees across all ethnicities.