The COVID-19 pandemic and 2020’s anti-racism protests have shone a light on the different lived experiences of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in the UK. There has been a groundswell in business response to these issues, and there is a growing desire amongst Northern Ireland businesses to take action to tackle racism in the workplace.
Aside from the moral and legal case for diversity, the business case is clear: diverse organisations perform better, have higher employee satisfaction and better financial returns, and are more innovative.
- Better financial returns: companies with strong gender and ethnic diversity are 15% and 35% respectively more likely to outperform their competitors (McKinsey)
- Increased innovation and creativity: when employees ‘think their organisation is committed to and supportive of diversity, and they feel included’, their ability to innovate increases by 83% (Deloitte)
- More attractive employer brand: 54% of women and 45% of men surveyed said they researched if a company had diversity and inclusion policies in place when deciding to accept a position (PwC)
The Race at Work campaign
The Race at Work campaign challenges and supports businesses to proactively support the inclusion of ethnic minorities in the workplace. We are asking business in Northern Ireland to pledge their commitment to this campaign by signing the Race at Work Charter.
Business in the Community will support your organisation to take action for a more diverse and inclusive workplace through a range of events, toolkits and training offered to signatories of the Charter.
Race at Work Charter signatories commit to:
- Appoint an Executive Sponsor for race
Executive Sponsors for Race provide visible leadership on race and ethnicity in their organisation and can drive key actions such as setting targets for ethnic minority representation, briefing recruitment agencies and supporting mentoring and sponsorship.
- Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress
Capturing ethnicity data is important for establishing a baseline and measuring progress. It is also a crucial step towards an organisation being able to report on ethnicity pay.
- Commit at Board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying.
The Race at Work Survey revealed that 25% of ethnic minority employees reported that they had witnessed or experienced racial harassment or bullying from managers. Commitment from the top is needed to achieve change.
- Make it clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders and managers.
Actions can include ensuring that performance objectives for leaders and managers cover their responsibilities to support fairness for all staff.
- Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression
Actions can include embedding mentoring, reverse mentoring and sponsorship in their organisations.
- Support race inclusion allies in the workplace
Provide support for inclusion allies to promote race equality in teams, at work and within their communities.
- Include Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse-led enterprise owners in supply chains
Employers should ensure Black-owned businesses and enterprises are part of their supply chains, monitoring timely payment and contract value. These actions will contribute to creating role models for young people and the wider community, as well as economic inclusion.
For more information, please email Katherine McKnight.
Complete the form below to sign the Race at Work Charter
Race at Work Roundtable
Hear from Race at Work Roundtable participants Allstate NI, Equality Commission, PSNI, Hospitality Ulster, Liberty IT, Ulster University and BITCNI on why taking action on Race at Work is not only the right thing to do, but vital for the future prosperity of Northern Ireland.