In a post-Brexit environment, 72% of business leaders see access to skills as the main threat to the UK’s labour market competitiveness. And according to the McGregor-Smith Review, closing the ethnicity pay gap could uplift UK GDP by up to £24bn per year. The key to closing this gap is diversity. But BAME individuals still face a glass ceiling in the workplace. Despite the fact that the number of students from ethnic minority backgrounds has doubled over the past 25 years, they are still under-represented at all levels of UK organisations.
The good news is, though there are complex societal issues contributing towards the ethnicity gap, there are practical steps that every firm can take to genuinely make a difference. As the latest step in the CBI’s campaign for more diverse and inclusive workplaces, we’ve released a practical guide, supported by Eversheds Sutherland, to help your firm to close its gap.
Originally released in February for members only, we’ve now made this guide available for everyone, in conjunction with our Race and Equality webinar miniseries. Because we think that it is critical that all businesses understand the barriers that hold ethnic minorities back in the workplace, and the way firms can overcome them, so that every firm can take action.
Using real case studies from firms of varying sizes in different sectors and regions, Bridge the gap identifies common barriers to progress and offers practical guidance on how to overcome them by:
- Developing campaigns to encourage employees to declare their ethnicity
- Creating strategies to improve BAME representation from entry level to boardroom
- Starting a conversation about race in the workplace and creating an environment and culture of inclusion.
But business cannot close the ethnicity pay gap alone. Societal issues remain at the heart of the gap, and so business and government must work closely together to help narrow attainment gaps in education between disadvantaged young people and their wealthier peers; and help disadvantaged young people, including from a BAME background, to access careers advice and networks. If your firm is passionate about this issue, view our diversity and inclusion campaign to find out more about our work.