CHEP Hosts Race Equality Panel for Employees - Business in the Community

CHEP Hosts Race Equality Panel for Employees

How a race equality panel event encouraged CHEP colleagues to report their ethnicity data.

How Chep shared its vision

CHEP, a global leader in sustainably moving goods, signed the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter in October 2020 and has done some inclusion work and hosted discussions in the background. Based on this, Chep decided to host a race equality panel event to share its vision and introduce employees to racial equality in a simplistic way to stimulate an organic discussion and engage employees to ask questions. 

Working with BITC Advisory Services, CHEP decided to host a panel event.

The event aimed to: 

  • Raise awareness about CHEP’s commitment to the Race at Work Charter 
  • Convey light touch communication about senior leaders and their journey in racial equality in a personal and relatable way. 
  • Have BITC statistics and research for context and a skilled chair to pick up questions from their employees during the panel discussion 
  • Create hype and interest on this topic and inspire colleagues to report their ethnicity data as a call to action.  

The panel’s objectives provided context for why colleagues were asked to report their ethnicity data. CHEP hoped this information would help to increase ethnicity data reporting and fulfil its inclusion strategy goals.  

How Business in the Community helped

A BITC Inclusion expert chaired the panel session and led the event as the subject matter expert. This removed the pressure on CHEP to find an internal chair and train these skills in-house. 

Before the event, there was a joint discussion with the organisation’s senior leaders about the expectations for the day, a discussion about content and questions that would be suitable and what questions would yield the most impact. CHEP secured the panellists, ensuring the group was diverse and represented different services, middle and senior management, gender, and ethnic backgrounds. 

Before the panel session, the inclusion expert met with the panellists to prepare for the panel session, exploring the areas they were comfortable discussing; the group was also offered the option to come back individually to the inclusion expert and share their views. 

The inclusion expert also reviewed the communication of the panellists around the issues discussed in the panel and signing the Race at Work Charter and ensured that it was positioned to the audience as an organisational, systemic change rather than an HR-led activity. 

During the hour panel discussion, with 60 employees in attendance and four panellists, the inclusion expert asked questions and managed the responses from the audience, deciding which panellist would be best placed to answer and introduced stories from the panellists as the session progressed, using their words to direct the narrative. At the end of the panel discussion, there was a call to action for employees to share their ethnicity data to allow CHEP to form a baseline of data to build plans and strategies. 

The questions employees shared via the chat function allowed CHEP to understand employees’ concerns and perceptions of the Race at Work Charter commitments.  

What happened next

CHEP immediately reported it was pleased with what happened at the event. CHEP felt the event conveyed the sincerity it wanted to portray in this discussion and was very positive overall, exceeding expectations.  

In the weeks following the race equality panel for employees, there was a significant uptake of employees sharing their ethnicity data. CHEP started with nothing and quickly got over 100 employees to share their data.  

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    Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

    The Race At Work Charter asks businesses to make a public commitment to improving equality of opportunity in the workplace.  In 2017 The government-sponsored Race in the Workplace: The McGregor-Smith Review found that Black, Asian, Mixed Race, and other ethnically diverse people staff still encounter significant disparities in employment and progression and that greater progress and positive outcomes are needed to ensure all organisations benefit from the wealth of diverse talent on offer. 

    No, the signing of the Race at Work Charter is open to all organisations irrespective of membership or size.

    Signing the Race at Work Charter is free of charge.