Gov’t ask black workers to share discrimination experience

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BLACK and minority ethnic workers are being urged to open up about challenges in the work place by Business Secretary Sajid Javid who has called for a fresh investigation into why BAME people fail to progress up the corporate ladder.

The report formally launched on Tuesday (May 10) calls on BAME workers to be candid about their experiences in line with the government’s commitment to extending opportunity to everyone “regardless of their race, colour or religion.”

In February, Business Secretary Sajid Javid asked Baroness McGregor-Smith, chief executive officer of the FTSE 250 company Mitie Group plc, to find out what is holding BAME talent back and recommend ways of breaking down these barriers.

Baroness McGregor-Smith said: “Right now people of BAME backgrounds in the UK do not excel in the workplace at the same rate as their white counterparts.

“We need to understand what the obstacles are that are preventing them to do so, and take strong actions to overcome them.”

The formal title for the investigation is a Review by Baroness McGregor-Smith on the issues faced by businesses in developing black and minority ethnic talent, the pool for submission of evidence is now open and will close on August 22.
Businesses and third sector organisations are also being called upon to take part in the review. To coincide with the launch, Baroness McGregor-Smith is hosting a roundtable event with some of the country’s largest private sector employers.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid added: “Everyone should have the opportunity to get their dream job. That is why I asked Baroness McGregor-Smith to undertake this review and find out why people from BAME backgrounds find it more difficult to reach the top. I urge everyone who has experience of trying to progress in work to take part in this review. Employers need to back their workforces and I am also calling on them to make sure everybody has a fair chance to succeed.”


Later this year, Baroness McGregor-Smith will publish the findings of her independent review into the obstacles that people from different communities face in the labour market, what impact this has on the economy and employers, and, for the first time, will bring together data that shows the extent of the problem.

The review will also include recommendations to government and business on how BAME talent can be fully utilised by employers as well as highlighting best practice from across the public and private sectors.

This investigation feeds into the larger picture that seeks to establish a “radical shift required in social mobility,” and the government’s BME2020 plan.

The initiative first introduced days before the General Election last year includes a specific target to increase BAME employment over this Parliament by 20 per cent.

“The BME 2020 target go a long way to delivering the radical shift required in social mobility and opportunity for BME people but we also need action on progression in the labour market,” explains preliminary details of the report.

A cross-government Ministerial group, all of whom are invested in seeing a more diverse workforce where ethnic minority talent is recognised and encouraged, is overseeing the work.

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