Thousands of people from all walks of life have come together in solidarity and recognition that things must change.
We’ve been taking the time to listen to and consult with CBI colleagues and reflect over the last week. Business can and must be part of the solution.
As business leaders, it is our collective responsibility to recognise and condemn racism in all its forms, and to stamp it out wherever we can.
At the CBI, it is our duty to use our voice to call out racial inequality in the workplace, and support businesses to take swift and meaningful action to prevent it. We will listen and understand how to best raise our voice more loudly in the weeks and months to come.
The lack of black and ethnic minority representation in the highest echelons of UK enterprise must change. People who are talented and BAME must have the same rights and opportunities as anyone else to rise to the top of their careers.
Understanding the true impact of racism means taking time to understand its devastating consequences for colleagues, families, and friends from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Progress has been made over the years, but not enough. Countless examples of prejudice remain, affecting black and ethnic minority people in their daily working lives. Business must do more - and that includes us at the CBI.
As the UK moves into economic recovery, policies and behaviours that reverse trends in unfairness and inequality are essential.
The CBI will take the following action towards stamping out racial injustice in the workplace:
- Within the CBI, we will review our own internal policies to ensure equality of opportunity. We will strengthen support for our black and ethnic minority colleagues and education for all our staff to understand systemic racism and how to act as allies. And, make sure black and ethnic minority voices are represented at every level of our organisation – including our senior leadership team
- Hold open, honest conversations within business about race at work, to ensure everyone understands and feels able to challenge racial prejudice when it happens
- Repeat our call to government to require firms above 250 employees to report their ethnicity pay gap, and until then, encourage voluntary reporting - so firms can better understand and take action to eradicate their pay gaps
- In collaboration with others, establish a business-led movement to target increased black and ethnic minority representation in the boardroom
- Use CBI influence with government to ensure recovery policies help reverse inequality and injustice, and don’t make them worse
- Use CBI platforms and our voice to highlight the importance of tackling racial injustice, including webinars, speeches, media and political conversations
- Develop CBI toolkits and support for business on how to attract, hire and promote employees from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.
There is much to learn and much to do – this is just a start.
I know many businesses care deeply about justice in the workplace and are committed to change. Our shared goal must be to create truly diverse and inclusive organisations where everyone can thrive. Business must be part of the solution.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General