• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

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Business in the Community calls for respondents to largest ever Race at Work Survey

  • Business in the Community is seeking the highest number of responses to date for the 2021 Race at Work Survey, which captures perception of UK employees to highlight indicators of racial bias and discrimination.
  • Business in the Community’s recent Black Voices report showed that 33% of black employees feel their ethnicity will be a barrier to their next career move, compared to only 1% of white employees.
  • Over 423 employers have signed up to Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter since George Floyd’s death last year, bringing the total number of signatories to more than 681.
  • Following the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities government report, 11 members of BITC’s Race Equality Leadership Team wrote a private letter to the Prime Minister urging for ethnicity pay gap reporting to be made mandatory for employers.
  • The Race at Work Survey is sponsored by KPMG, the Co-operative, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Shell UK and Sainsbury’s and is carried out in collaboration with YouGov. 

Business in the Community (BITC) calls for employees and employers across the country to share their experiences of race in the workplace for the 2021 Race at Work Survey and join the 681 businesses signed up to the Race at Work Charter. As the largest survey of its kind, the Race at Work Survey is one of the most influential datasets on indicators of discrimination and bias at work.

The 2021 Race at Work Survey will explore the experiences of employees in the workplace across the UK to gather insight into the careers of all ethnicities. By completing the survey, respondents can be part of driving forward equality in the workplace and challenging racial bias and discrimination.

This year the survey aims to capture ethnicity data, information surrounding career progression, effective allyship and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ethnically diverse workforce. The data will be used to determine the progress made since the 2018 survey, which found that more than half of black, Asian and minority ethnic employees (52 per cent) believed that they would have to leave their current organisation to progress in their career.

Sandra Kerr CBE, Race Director at Business in the Community, said: ‘Every response to this survey is a radical act: real change never comes from ignorance. Despite the insights from 2015 and 2018, it is shocking how little we still know about day-to-day experiences of ethnically diverse employees. The fact that Race at Work signatories have more than doubled over the last ten months is extraordinary and I am optimistic that this surge of ambition from employers will translate into different experiences on the ground.’  

The 2021 data will be used to drive positive change and inform policy around equality in the workplace to build on the progress made by the Race at Work Charter. Race at Work Surveys in the past six years shaped the focus of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review: Race in the Workplace, while the 2018 data led to the creation of the Race at Work Charter which has been signed by more than 681 companies – 423 of which signed since George Floyd’s death last year.

Richard Iferenta, Chair of the BITC’s Race Equality Team, Vice-Chair and Partner at KPMG, said: ‘The urgency and magnitude of racial inequality in the workplace demands more action, which will only happen if voices are amplified and heard, so I’m pleased that the 2021 Race at Work Survey will give over 25,000 people this much-needed opportunity.’ 

Claire Camara, People Director for Organisational Effectiveness at the Co-​operative and member of BITC’s Race Equality Leadership Team, said: ‘We’re proud to support the Race at Work Survey; together we have the power to be the driving force for change. At this time, is so important to give every voice a chance to be heard. This is important for the Co-op and our vision of “Co-operating for a fairer world.” 

Khaled Shahbo, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland at Enterprise Holdings’, said: “At Enterprise, equity, inclusion and diversity have been the cornerstone of our business since our inception. We are incredibly proud to support the Race at Work Survey with other organisations to ensure that workplaces are challenged to be welcoming and inclusive environments for everyone. I would like to encourage other UK business leaders to have their employees participate.”  

Deborah Dorman, Director of Group HR at Sainsbury’s, said: ‘We want to be the most inclusive retailer, where every single one of our colleagues can fulfil their potential and where all of our customers feel welcome when they shop with us. Ethnic diversity and equality are a very important part of this, so we were keen to sponsor the Race at Work Survey. The findings will enable us to build on the actions that we are already taking and further amplify our commitment to improving equality of opportunity in the workplace.’