The Race at Work Charter: One Year On 2019

The Race at Work Charter: One Year On 2019

The Race at Work Charter: One Year On 2019 report outlines how a range of employers are responding to the Race at Work Charter calls to action. Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race at Work Charter is composed of five calls to action for leaders and organisations across all sectors*. Signing up means organisations taking practical steps to ensure workplaces are tackling barriers ethnic minority people face in recruitment and progression. In doing so they can their organisations are representative of British society.

One-hundred-and-eight companies took part in a survey on the Race at Work Charter, the largest measure of its kind of responsible business in the UK. This report, based on its findings, outlines the progress made and what needs to improve. It also provides support to help companies make change happen.

There are more than 32,000 ethnic minority employees in the UK management population represented in the survey. Fifty-two per cent were from the private sector, 40 per cent from the public sector and 8 per cent from the third sector. The results represent a UK workforce of more than 1.3 million people and a global workforce of 3.9 million. It is not currently statistically representative of all UK business, but is indicative of key emerging trends that will be explored further in the future.

The Race At Work Charter builds on the work of work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, Race in the workplace. The review found that people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds were underemployed, underpromoted and under-represented at senior levels. That review concluded that ‘the time for talking is over. The time to act is now.’

The report finds that the following progress has occurred in the 12 months since the Race at Work Charter launched in September 2018.

  • 84 per cent of employers have a senior Race Champion. However, only 41 per cent of employers have targets to increase the racial diversity of their boards and executive teams.
  • 63 per cent of employers monitor data on pay and ethnicity. However, only 31 per cent of employers publish their ethnicity pay gap.
  • 97 per cent of employers have a clear zero-tolerance policy on racial harassment and bullying. However only 45 per cent of employers have commissioned a review into bullying and harassment in the workplace.
  • 50 per cent of employers ensure that performance objectives of their board and senior team include action on race. However, only 21 per cent of managers have a diversity performance objective to facilitate the development and progression of ethnic minority talent in their teams.
  • 80 per cent of board members and executives are engaged in reverse/two-way mentoring. Fifty-three per cent of board members or senior teams sponsor talented ethnic minority employees.

To add further detail to the Race at Work Charter Report: One Year On 2019 BITC has produced full versions of the case studies contained in the report. Businesses give their examples of best practice, set against the actions and principles set out in the Race at Work Charter.

Download the Race at Work Charter: One Year On Case Studies

* In October 2021 two additional commitments were added to the Race at Work Charter. Find out more about the Race at Work Charter.

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