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Ethnicity and race

Take a data led, transparent approach with accountability embedded across the organisation. Have a clear communication strategy so that everybody understands the role they play to improve equality of opportunity for everyone.

Employer recommendations

Join over 1000 companies and sign Business In The Community's Race at Work Charter and make a public commitment to improving equality of opportunity in the workplace

Race at Work Charter signatories make seven commitments: 

1. Appoint an executive sponsor for race

The goal is that senior executives prioritise equality of opportunity as a business imperative through advocacy, holding people to account through KPIs that incentivise managers and being willing to “call out” and act upon bad behaviour.

To meet this part of the Race at Work Charter, CIPD recommends organisations should:

  • Ensure executives have KPIs specifically related to race inclusion.
  • Champion race equality throughout the organisation and ensure race is firmly on the agenda.
  • Task executives to lead on race equality strategy with oversight of the delivery of programmes of work.
  • Encourage senior leaders to question the lack of diversity at senior levels and commit to taking firm action.
  • Initiate ethnicity pay reporting to encourage action to redress pay differences.

2. Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress

3. Commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying

To meet this part of the Race at Work Charter, CIPD recommends that organisations should:
  • Develop an anti-harassment and anti-bullying policy and framework. 
  • Run an organisation-wide campaign on dignity and respect in the workplace. 
  • Create a network of anti-bullying champions to support victims and act as a first point of contact and signpost sources of help. 
  • Ensure people managers have adequate training to be able to address race discrimination. 
  • Carry out enforcement of a zero tolerance approach where harassment or bullying occurs.

4. Make equality, diversity and inclusion the responsibility of all leaders and managers

To meet this part of the Charter, CIPD recommends that organisations should seek to: 

  • Create an inclusive organisational culture.
  • Ensure that all leaders and managers take ownership for delivering EDI.
  • Make EDI a key responsibility in job descriptions (and assess it during interviews).
  • Assess performance on EDI during appraisals.
  • Ensure leaders and managers are plugged into EDI by developing networks and events, and ongoing communications.

5. Take action that supports Black, Asian, mixed race and other ethnically diverse employees’ career progression

To meet this part of the Charter, CIPD recommends that organisations should seek to:

  • Offer opportunities for ethnic minority employees to build relationships across an employer organisation.
  • Provide employees from ethnic minority backgrounds the chance to work on a variety of stretching projects at work.
  • Provide high-quality management and support.
  • Give improved access to training and development opportunities.
  • Introduce positive action programmes to increase the pool of diverse talent.

6. Support race inclusion allies in the workplace

7. Include black, Asian, mixed race and other ethnically-led enterprise owners in supply chain

The CIPD guide on sourcing diverse suppliers outlines seven steps to increase the diversity of your supply chain:

Step 1 – Examine the data.
Step 2 – Craft the business case.
Step 3 – Set targets. 
Step 4 – Find diverse suppliers. 
Step 5 – Engage with diverse suppliers. 
Step 6 – Monitor performance and remove obstacles. 
Step 7 – Celebrate and share success.

Engage equitably

Regular checking in with employees is essential, and people managers must ask themselves, “Am I engaging with my team equitably?”. With hybrid and remote working now the norm, managers must be intentional about having conversations with their entire team - —not just the ones with whom they have an easy rapport - to get a feel for how they’re doing personally and professionally.

Give equitable feedback

Feedback is a gift—whether it’s a pat on the back or a course correction.  Some managers may avoid providing feedback to colleagues from underrepresented groups to avoid being perceived as biased. This creates a vicious cycle where people not only miss out on the feedback they need to grow and develop, but they also miss out on opportunities, promotions, and career growth. While it might be harder for managers to give feedback to someone different than themselves, they must do this equitably so everyone on their team has the chance to grow and improve. 

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Further information and resources