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Business in the Community launch Race at Work survey

SUPPORT: Sandra Kerr OBE

BUSINESS IN the Community will launch an updated version of its 2015 Race at Work survey today (Feb 21), supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The launch event in central London today marks the one-year anniversary of the publication of the McGregor-Smith Review of race in the workplace.

The Race at Work survey aims to look at Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees’ experiences of race in the workplace, to increase the understanding of why BAME employees are under-represented in UK workplaces and at senior level, and to inform best practice recommendations in order to address these gaps.

The survey covers issues including leadership, progression, recruitment, workplace bullying and harassment, talking about race at work, and the monitoring and reporting of BAME pay gaps. It is open to anyone aged 16 or over and currently employed or self-employed in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Business in the Community is calling on people of all ethnicities to respond to the survey.

Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community, said: “I’m delighted that we are running the Race at Work survey again in 2018. We received an overwhelming response to the original survey in 2015, which highlighted that this is an issue that people want to talk about.

"Now we will see if the recommendations we made in 2015 are being put into practice by employers and what impact that is having on BAME employees across the UK. I also welcome the Government’s commitment to support the survey and championing of the race equality agenda.”

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths commented: “It is unacceptable that people are being held back in the workplace because of their ethnic background – we want to make sure that the economy works for everyone, so people have the same opportunities to progress and can achieve their true potential.

"This new research will establish what steps employers have taken to haul down workplace barriers and harness the talent of a diverse workforce, helping us to assess if further action is needed. I would like to thank both Business in the Community and Baroness McGregor-Smith for helping to shine a light on this important issue.”

Baroness McGregor-Smith, who conducted the 2017 Government review of race in the workplace, said: “This one year on review of the Government’s report on race in the workplace gives us the opportunity to take stock of progress and consider if stronger actions are needed for us to see change. I welcome the involvement of Business in the Community in delivering this review and am interested to see what it will reveal about the experiences of BAME employees in the UK.”

The landmark Race at Work survey was initially spearheaded in summer 2015 and was the first survey of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees’ experiences in UK workplaces, with over 24,000 respondents.

A seminal report on the survey was published in November 2015 and provided insight into the gaps between employers’ policies and employees’ lived experiences, including progression, leadership and workplace bullying and harassment and that employees from all ethnic backgrounds in the UK reported that we are not comfortable talking about race in the workplace.

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