Tragic recent events have once again highlighted the deep-rooted problem of race discrimination within our societies. This is an issue that lives within our organisations, and employers need to commit to making real and substantial change now.
The need for action on race inequality across UK organisations is clear. Research shows that ‘people from ethnic minority groups are often at a disadvantage in the labour market and are more likely to be unemployed and over-represented in poorly paid and unstable jobs’. There is also a significant under-representation of ethnic diversity at the top of UK boards, as shown by the Government’s recent Parker review.
Responding to recent events, Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD says:
‘Racism has no place in our society. Businesses must be part of the change we all need, to step up and stamp out prejudice, and to build diverse and supportive cultures of respect and fairness for all. It is important now that leaders across all organisations make time to address current events with their people. There are four key principles they can adopt:
• Clarify the organisation’s stance and values
• Communicate your messages consistently and ensure that communication is two way
• Connect your people by talking openly, creating an environment of respect and safety, and to share experiences and learn from each other
• Commit to sustained action, visible leadership and a willingness to change.
‘One of the CIPD key focuses in championing better work and working lives is ensuring diversity and inclusion remains top of all organisations' agendas, and at this time we know our members and the people profession will continue to need our support. That’s why we’re reaching out and asking what you need from us so we can tailor our advice and practical guidance.
‘Visit our community thread, open to all, and tell us what is most useful at this time. We’ll also be working with members and key stakeholders to bring you insights, views and guidance from different sectors so we can all make a difference together. All resources and guidance will be made accessible to both members and the wider people profession at this time.
‘We need to make a real difference and do more to push harder in creating fair and inclusive organisations and societies – it is at the heart of responsible business. The people profession has a big role to play and we at the CIPD will step up to help us move beyond debate into real action.’
The CIPD will work to understand and listen to the concerns and needs of people professionals when it comes to race discrimination. New relevant guidance and resources will be released soon, and the CIPD will continue to push to ensure that diversity and inclusion remains a top priority among employers.
It is vital that we continue to work together to create fair and inclusive societies.
Our anti-racism hub is now live and contains relevant resources and guidance on how to tackle racism and racial discrimination in the workplace. On 1 July we published our anti-racism guide, outlining the six principles to help organisation create racially inclusive workplaces, building upon our initial four principles detailed above.
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At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.