Is it time we started talking about race in the workplace?

The Baroness McGregor-Smith Review has said that GDP could increase by 1.3% if black and minority workers progressed at the same right as whites

UK GDP could increase by 1.3% if black and minority ethic (BME) workers progressed at the same rate as their white colleagues.

The Baroness McGregor-Smith Review, published by Baroness McGregor-Smith CBE, has revealed that £24bn would be added to the UK economy annually, if barriers presenting BMEs from gaining promotions were removed.

The survey found that employment rates for minorities are 12% lower than their white counterparts at 62.8%, with just 6% reaching top level management positions.

BMEs are also more likely to work in lower paid and lower skilled jobs, despite being more likely to hold a degree, and are still looked over because of the colour of their skin.

In a bid to help increase diversity in the workplace, businesses with more than 50 staff have been urged to:

  • Publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay band
  • Draw up five-year aspirational diversity targets
  • Nominate a board member to deliver on these targets

In part of its plan to combat workplace discrimination, the government has launched a Business Diversity and Inclusion Group which will be chaired by business minister Margot James.

The group will help businesses and organisations work together to “build an economy that works for everyone.”

Baroness McGregor-Smith said:

“The time for talk on race in the workplace is over, it’s time to act. No-one should feel unable to reach the top of any organisation because of their race.

“If businesses and the government act on my recommendations, it will show everyone from a minority background that Britain’s workplace is for everyone not just the privileged few.”

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