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Race & ethnicity in the workplace explored at new conference

FOUNDER: Sarah Grant MBE

THE INAUGURAL Investing in Ethnicity & Race workplace conference is launching during Black History Month in October. Sarah Garrett, MBE, founder of Investing in Ethnicity & Race, explains why now is as important time as ever to get this on your employer’s radar.

Ethnic minorities make up 14% of the UK population, with 42% living in London, and the population is growing, with an estimate 80% being under the age of 25. However, a recent BITC report claimed that 60% of black employees felt they were not receiving adequate career development, – this was double the figure reported by their white counterparts.

Black workers still receive 23% less income than their white colleagues and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) grads are between 5-15% less likely to be employed according to the University of Essex.

Following our research with over 50 organisations, many who admit to not doing enough around key issues around recruitment levels or getting BAME employees into senior positions, we found that the main barrier was the lack of ability to have honest conversations.

Senior leadership teams were not addressing these issues because of their fear of talking about it. This is hardly surprising, as there is still little understanding or information on what language is viewed as acceptable.

Investing in Ethnicity & Race 2017

As starting point, we have called out for CEOs to do more and pledge their support and invest in ethnicity and race in their workplaces and put this call to action firmly on their agenda.

Among others, Tescos, Bank of England and HSBC have all pledged their support. Ian Stuart, CEO UK at HSBC said: “The race and ethnicity agenda is of great importance to HSBC and I believe that having a diverse and inclusive culture is key to our business success. While we have a lot more to do, we are making progress and have a strong plan to continue the shift from talk to action.”

In addition, we are launching our key findings and actions at the first conference on this topic on the 13th October. On the back of reports, such as the Government supported McGreggor-Smith Report, we are giving some key areas for employers to work on and tangible tips on how to tack the key hurdles in a sustainable way.

If you would like to find out more or sign up to our mailing list with useful information, please visit:

If you or members of your workplace are interested in attending, The Voice readers will receive 30% off. Please book tickets online, quote ‘THEVOICE’ or call 020 7258 1777.

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