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.

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

About Business in the Community’s work on race equality

After 25 years of campaigning for race equality in the UK, BITC believes every employer must prioritise action on race.

Supporting employers to ensure that ethnic minority employees are represented at all levels. These aims and issue areas enable us to provide the most relevant and insightful support to members. They also inform our engagement with government, industry stakeholders and employers when campaigning for wider societal and organisational change.

Read more about BITC’s campaign for race equality.

* In October 2021 two additional commitments were added to the Race at Work Charter: Support race inclusion allies in the workplace and; Include Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse-led enterprise owners in supply chains. Find out more about the Race at Work Charter.