Steps to start and run an Employee Network

This factsheet, Steps to Start and Run an Employee Network provides advice and guidance to support the establishment of an Employee Network. Although the guidance covers all the protected characteristics within the Equality Act, it has a has a particular focus on race and ethnicity.

The importance of networks

The importance of employee networks and staff feeling supported at work cannot be overstated. The McGregor-Smith Review: Race in the workplace highlighted that tackling the racial disparities in the workplace and labour market is worth a potential annual boost to the UK economy of £24bn.

Identify and tackle disparities

Download the factsheet to find out more on how networks can engage Black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees within your organisation. This engagement will help you to identify and tackle any disparities that may exist.

Gain the commitment of your organisation

Commitment from your organisation is essential in ensuring the proposed network meets its objectives. To this end, this factsheet, Steps to Start and Run an Employee Network guides the reader through the following topics.

  • build a business plan
  • establish supportive relationships
  • create capacity for those involved
  • succession plan to create sustainability
  • align objectives with those of the organisation

Sign the Race at Work Charter

Business in the Community encourages all organisations to pledge to sign the Race at Work Charter* as a way of demonstrating their commitment to workplace racial equality.
Organisations signing the charter commit to:

  1. Appoint an Executive Sponsor for race
  2. Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress
  3. Commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  4. Make clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  5. Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression

*Resources are available to signatories to support them in taking these actions and realising their commitment.

25 years of campaigning

Visit the Business in the Community (BITC) race campaign page to learn about the three calls to action marking 25 years of campaigning for race equality in the UK. Three actions Business in the Community believes every employer must prioritise to amplify their commitment to improving equality of opportunity in the workplace.