Research shows that many businesses are getting stuck in their quest for greater diversity (Photo: Getty)
Three in five black and minority ethnic professionals (57%) say the momentum to improve diversity in their workplace has accelerated since the Summer 2020 publication.
Perceptions differ significantly from those of white professionals, with only 30% of white employees agreeing that efforts to increase diversity in the workplace have stalled.
A new study, published by People Like Us and the Census Group, examines the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement on the UK workforce.
The survey also revealed a divided national response to the protests: Two-thirds (67%) of London-based professionals said they consider diversity and inclusion (D&I) a higher priority for their business since the movement came into the spotlight in 2020, but this represents less than a third of employees outside London.
More than a third (35%) of employees say the impetus of diversity in their workplace has increased since the publication in summer 2020 (this figure rose to 57% when the same question was asked of employees from BAME backgrounds).
Almost half (49%) of practitioners believe that this has had a positive impact on the workplace, but it is clear that much more needs to be done.
Only 13% of respondents said their company actually hires more black, Asian or Métis employees, and 29% said their company does nothing to answer the question Black Life Matters.
Of the companies that took action as a direct result of the BLM movements, the top three issued a statement to their employees (24%), invested in training such as workshops on unconscious bias and white privilege (22%), and promised to review their D&I initiatives (20%).
The survey also found that sectors in which diversity and inclusion have become a higher priority since the summer include public relations (81%), advertising (75%) and information technology and telecommunications (40%) as important to their businesses.
In the sectors potentially most affected by Covid, proportionately fewer workers indicated that this was a priority for their company – including manufacturing and utilities (21%), travel and transportation (12%) and healthcare (32%).
The BLM has been a very influential movement that has forced the world to look at the problems of blacks and then the problems of other minorities, says Shiraz Gulsher, co-founder of People Like Us.
The impact on the UK workforce, while gradual, is essential to create more equitable opportunities for all.
We hope to build on this momentum – our research shows that just under three in ten UK professionals feel that their company is not responsive to BLM in any way, so we need to continue to hold companies to account and value the talent we have to engage others.
Read more: Racism
Darien Faraz, co-founder of People Like Us, adds: Having worked for Marcomms in London for most of his career, the inequalities found in our research are very worrying and alarming.
It’s a story of London against London, it’s a story of older workers against younger workers, and the results are even more obvious when we compare sectors.
The results clearly show the need to develop tailor-made solutions for specific target groups.
Although on a national level since the BLM there has been a positive attitude towards D&I – once you dig a little deeper, the story becomes significantly different.
The survey is entering its third year, while People Like Us announces its third event for professionals from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The event is open to all types of UK professionals and takes place on Thursday the 25th. February, was held virtually.
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