Let’s talk about race in the workplace

Major employers from a range of sectors across Northern Ireland today joined the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and Business in the Community to discuss issues around race in the workplace.

In a keynote address, Sandra Kerr, CBE, Race Director for Business in the Community UK, who is a passionate advocate for workplace equality and diversity, called on every employer to prioritise race in the workplace and emphasised three priority areas for action: leadership, allyship, and connecting to employees and communities.

Evelyn Collins CBE, Chief Executive, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland said: “We are delighted that some of the largest employers in Northern Ireland joined us today. We heard first-hand how they are working to promote race equality in their workplaces and how they resolved issues they have experienced within their organisations.”

“Creating inclusive workplaces is vital for the future prosperity of Northern Ireland, we must all work to ensure that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds are treated with dignity and fairness. They are making a valuable and   significant contribution to our economy and to wider society”.

Kieran Harding, Managing Director, Business in the Community NI said: “We are calling for employers to commit to taking practical steps to ensure that people from ethnic minorities do not face barriers during recruitment and career progression.

“Our Race at Work campaign and Charter is about ensuring that ethnic minority employees are represented at all levels in the workplace and equality of opportunity for all is at the forefront of good business practices. Business in the Community has a wealth of advice, support, and a range of resources to enable companies to effectively take action on race in the workplace, and we’re encouraging everyone to get involved”.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and Business in the Community NI will be hosting a series of training events for employers to promote race equality in the workplace, details will be available from the Commission’s website in due course.