Inclusive Succession Planning: A Toolkit for Employers

70 per cent of UK employees from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds said career progression was important to them 1 . 52 per cent said that they believed they to progress they would have to leave their current employer 2 . The Race at Work Charter‘s fifth principle is addressing this by supporting workplace progression for ethnic minority talent. This toolkit provides employers with insight and recommends a range of actions they can take to increase diversity in their talent pipelines, ensuring inclusive succession planning.

The Race at Work Charter five calls to action*

  • Appoint an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress
  • Commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Actions can include ensuring that performance objectives for leaders and managers cover their responsibilities to support fairness for all staff.
  • Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression


Succession planning is about determining who will lead your organisation into the future. It is about identifying which key positions are at risk and vital to your organisation’s smooth operation and then developing pools of talent that are ready to be drawn from at any time for any reason. Simply put, succession planning is your current and ‘emergency replacement’ talent pool. It can also be a key tool to drive engagement within your organisation. For inclusive succession planning the criteria, skills and abilities which are a requirement for candidates should be clear, transparent and accessible. 

The leadership pipeline of today needs to be inclusive of BAME talent to ensure that senior management roles of the future and workplaces reflect an increasingly diverse working-age population. Only one in 16 people in management positions are from a BAME background, in contrast to one in ten in the workplace and one in eight of the working age population 3 . The McGregor-Smith Review highlighted that tackling these race disparities in the UK would provide an annual income boost of £24 billion to the UK economy.

Business in the Community is helping develop a
skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow.

* 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.

  1. Business in the Community (2018) Race at Work – The Scorecard Report 2018
  2. Business in the Community (2018) Race at Work – The Scorecard Report 2018
  3. Business in the Community (2018) Race at Work – The Scorecard Report 2018