UK Businesses Not Willing To Discuss Diversity

UK Businesses Not Willing To Discuss Diversity

25 July 2017

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The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the British Academy of Management (BAM) have released a damning report, titled Delivering Diversity, in which it is claims that almost half of UK businesses are not championing diversity quotas – or even willing to talk about them in the first place.

There is a shroud of silence surrounding black and ethnic minority employees and their lack of upward mobility within UK businesses. There needs to be a real effort made to increase diversity by managing talent pipelines, creating more inclusive boards and reaching out to black and ethnic minority groups to source new talent.

The report states: “Around 12.5% of the UK population are BAME yet they hold just 6% of top management positions. Closing this representation gap is an urgent challenge – and a major opportunity, which could add £24 billion to the economy annually. But could managers do more to deliver diversity?”

Ethnic minorities in Scotland make up 4% of the population. Yet, this is not reflected in our workforce, where ethnic minorities account for just 2% of employees. The ethnic minority pay gap also far outleaps the gender pay gap – it stands at a shocking 14%. On average educational achievement is now higher amongst ethnic minority groups, with higher rates of university participation. Yet this is not translating to success in the workplace.

Whilst the report does state that 75% of the FTSE 100 companies that they surveyed have outlined diversity and progression targets with regards to gender and potential pay gaps. So, why aren’t companies doing the same to tackle issues surrounding race?

Only 54% of FTSE 100 leaders are actively championing greater diversity in their boardrooms – leaving 46% who either don’t care or who aren’t willing to talk about the problem. Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy for the CMI is quoted as saying: “Too many leaders have been silent on race and ethnicity and it’s time for change. The progress we’ve started to see on gender diversity shows how businesses can build momentum on the issue.”

This latest report follows hot on the heels of the BBC Salary Survey, in which almost all of the top earners were white males. The broadcasting giant was called out for its huge gender pay gap and complete lack of high earners from ethnic minorities (save a few familiar faces such as Moira Stewart and George Aligiah).

At HR Consultancy, we have long championed diversity in the workplace. It has been proven, countless times over, that having a boardroom that reflects your customer base can greatly improve both productivity and profitability. Ultimately, employees and consumers like to choose companies who reflect their own personal circumstances, values and aspirations.

Moreover, it is perhaps this lack of visible role models within certain industries that prevents people from an ethnic minority from considering a career in that field. If businesses embrace what all sectors of the population have to offer, this can surely only lead to better understanding and integration within our communities.

If you are looking for guidance on the best approach to achieve diversity in your boardroom, I would be more than happy to speak with you confidentially. I’m also passionate about achieving a more inclusive workplace. Click here to see my details.




Written By Barry Lee


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