Racial harassment in the workplace on the riseDecember 2015
The largest ever survey published on race equality in the UK has revealed that 30% of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees in the UK have witnessed or experienced racial harassment in the workplace in the last year alone, an increase from previous years, according to a new report from Business in the Community (BITC).
The Race at Work report, undertaken with research partner YouGov, heard from 24,457 people in employment across the UK.
Sandra Kerr OBE, race equality director at BITC said: “It is clear that ethnic minorities’ experiences of work are still not equal to their white peers. Despite having greater enjoyment and ambition for work, the experience of the workplace processes and cultures for BAME employees is certainly not ideal.
“This is compounded by the extremely worrying finding that incidents of racial harassment and bullying appear to be on the rise. The scale of this challenge is immense and needs immediate action. As a result, we are making specific recommendations to both government and employers to ensure that the voices of 24,457 people are heard.”
The report calls for the government to commit to ensuring that the UK Corporate Governance Code’s definition of diversity for listed companies includes ‘and race’ as well as use its procurement spending power to ensure that businesses that tender for public contracts can demonstrate a commitment to race diversity.
The BITC also urges the government to draw up a policy framework on race to promote good practice and close the persistent unemployment gap and consider commissioning a review into race equality in the workplace with focus on promotions at senior management levels, similar to Lord Davies of Abersoch’s review of women on boards.
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