Every person should be able to reach their full potential at work, regardless of race or background. Employers will increase their talent pool and address skill shortages by taking steps to support equal advancement and participation in the workplace across ethnicities.
Compared to their white British peers, a disproportionate number of people from ethnic minorities still experience discrimination and disadvantage in the UK when trying to enter and advance in the workforce.
Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups only have a 62.8% employment rate, while White workers have a 75.6% employment rate, according to the McGregor-Smith Review (2017). For some ethnic groups, this disparity is even more pronounced; for example, the employment rate for people with Pakistani or Bangladeshi ancestry is only 54.9%.
Although people from ethnic minorities hold 10% of the workforce and 6% of top management positions, this group makes up about 1 in 8 of the working-age population. Only 85 of the 1,050 director positions in the FTSE 100, according to the Parker Review (2016) of the ethnic composition of UK boards, are held by directors of color.
Not only does solving this problem involve combating discrimination, but it also involves improving business performance. According to estimates, full ethnic representation and advancement in the workforce would benefit the economy by an additional £24 billion.
We are aware that not everyone will connect with a particular term. As a result, we advise employers to use sensitive language and terminology when discussing racial and ethnic diversity. They should also make sure to consult with both internal staff members and outside experts. Here, we adhere to the advice of the Race Disparity Audit and use the term "ethnic minorities" rather than the terms "BME" or "BAME," which highlight some groups while leaving out others. However, when referring to ethnic minority groups in the UK, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, the media, and other groups frequently use the terms BME and BAME. Therefore, we only make reference to BME and BAME in the context of research that has already been done using these terms.
The CIPD thinks that institutional racism is still a serious issue when it comes to employment and career advancement. We have examined the Government's most recent report on racial and ethnic disparities, and in a blog post titled "The Race Commission's conclusions fail to reflect the evidence and undermine efforts to tackle racism and discrimination in the UK," we have explained why we are disappointed by many of the findings.
Every person should be able to reach their full potential at work, regardless of race or background. Ethnicity pay reporting can act as a catalyst to spur action on the long-recognized but inaction on the need to foster more diverse and inclusive workplaces.
According to CIPD research, there is a serious lack of racial diversity at the top of UK organizations. Employees from ethnic minorities are more likely than those from white British backgrounds to report experiencing discrimination, believing that their career advancement has fallen short of expectations, and feeling the need to alter certain aspects of their behaviour to "fit" into the workplace.
In addition to the financial cost to individuals of passing up job opportunities due to prejudice or bias, employers who do nothing will have a smaller talent pool, and unequal advancement opportunities mean that people's skills will be underutilised.
One of the most comprehensive studies on racial equality in the UK, the Race Inclusion Reports, was just released by the CIPD. The reports demonstrate the need for increased employee involvement in discussions about racial equality, improved data collection, and equitable and open career advancement opportunities.
While there has been some shift in board composition, it has not been to the extent or at the pace required. It is important to build on the success of campaigns that have increased female representation at the top of organisations to make significant strides with ethnic diversity.