His Majesty The King joins Business in the Community event to mark 40th anniversary
Business in the Community (BITC) was today joined by His Majesty the King at an event in Central Hall Westminster to mark the 40th anniversary of the organisation and to meet with business leaders who have been driving the responsible business agenda since 1982.
BITC was founded in 1982, and shortly after that, the then Prince of Wales became the organisation’s Royal Founding Patron. Since then, BITC has campaigned to reduce inequalities across the UK focussing on race, gender, wellbeing, climate action and access to employment and skills. These campaigns have been led and supported by business leaders who believe in putting responsible business at the heart of their organisations. Today, BITC works with over 600 businesses representing 20% of the UK workforce.
BITC’s longest-standing campaign, the race equality campaign, was set up by HM The King in 1995 to address the inequalities for Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse employees in workplaces around the UK. In 2018, BITC launched the Race at Work Charter, a seven-step commitment that employers can take to reduce inequalities in the workplace. When the Charter launched, 85 employers signed up, representing 2.3 million employees across the UK. Today, the Charter has nearly 1,000 signatories representing 6.2 million employees.
At the event, HM The King also heard the action businesses are taking following the Seeing is Believing visits from this year. This programme was started by HM The King following a visit to Halifax in 1990. The programme takes business leaders into communities in greatest need so that they understand the role that businesses play in addressing inequalities. This year, BITC took 60 business leaders to Bradford, Coventry, Norwich and Rochdale to meet with community groups, youth hubs and foodbanks with the aim of directing private sector support to these places. Since the Seeing is Believing programme was started, over 25,000 business leaders have taken part.
To acknowledge the support of those who have been campaigning alongside BITC for 40 years, BITC is making 40 leaders who have worked closely with BITC, Fellows. They include previous and current business leaders that have used their leadership and expertise to make a significant contribution to BITC and the issues that it campaigns on.
Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said:
“For 40 years Business in the Community has been convening business and making a difference. From law firms employing ex-offenders to bakers running breakfast clubs for primary school children, and recycling companies making amazing things from waste.
“We thank The King for his vision, leadership and commitment to our mission. Being able to mark the moment of 40 years of His Majesty’s support and celebrate the legacy and impact achieved should make us all feel proud.”
Notes to editors
- Find out more about BITC’s Race Equality campaign.
- See here for more information on BITC’s Seeing is Believing Programme.
For further information, please contact Aoife Butler Nolan, Head of Media, Public Affairs and Policy, on 07702 903 216.
About Business in the Community
Business in the Community (BITC) and our network of business members are leading a movement to create a fair and sustainable world in which to live in work. Formed in 1982, and with His Majesty King Charles III as our Royal Founding Patron, we are the largest and longest-established membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We work and campaign with more than 600 members to continually grow their responsible business practices, uniting our efforts for greater social and environmental impact in our communities.