Westminster Employment Forum

Next steps for BAME equality in the workplace - tackling discrimination and bias, reducing the pay gap and improving recruitment and progression

Morning, Thursday, 25th April 2019

Central London


This conference will consider the next steps for government, employers and other stakeholders in improving opportunity and equality at work for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME).

It follows the launch by government, in collaboration with Business in the Community, of the Race at Work Charter, which set five calls to action for signatories to improve recruitment and progression of ethnic minority employees - including requirements to appoint an executive sponsor for race, a zero-tolerance of harassment and bullying, and making equality the responsibility of all managers.

Delegates will discuss the way forward for the Charter, assessing it’s scope and whether it is sufficiently robust, how take-up can continue to be increased, the practical steps that employers need to take meet the Charter’s principles, and where support for businesses might be needed from government and it’s partners.

The conference will also be an opportunity to examine the Government’s consultation on ethnicity pay reporting, with Government currently considering its response, which looked at what ethnicity pay information should be published by employers to allow for action to be taken and who should be expected to report. It also comes with Government considering the introduction of mandatory pay reporting for organisations with over 250 employees.

With a recent study highlighting the large number of job applications BAME candidates have to make before they receive invitations to interview and calls for employers to be more creative with recruitment practices to improve diversity, delegates will discuss the practical steps that can be taken by employers including the introduction of blind CVs and reviewing interview practices.

Those attending will also consider progression for BAME employees. It comes with Business in the Community finding that BAME employees continue to have concerns surrounding progression, in their scorecard report marking one year on from the McGregor-Smith Review.

Attendees will look at the impact of actions such providing unconscious bias training, the setting of clear targets for managers and the introduction of role models and how their use amongst businesses can be increased.

Keynote Speaker

Sandra Kerr

Race Equality Director, Business in the Community

Keynote Speakers

Marcus Bell

Director, Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office

Simon Woolley

Chair, Race Disparity Advisory Group and Director, Operation Black Vote

Sandra Kerr

Race Equality Director, Business in the Community


Dawn Butler MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

Lord Sheikh

Vice-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Race and Community


Rob Wall

Head of Policy, Chartered Management Institute

Richard Iferenta

Partner, Head of Challenger Banking and Chair, Race Leadership Team, KPMG

Charlene Brown

Associate, Employment Law, Morgan Lewis

Alastair Pringle

Executive Director, Scotland and Corporate Delivery, Equality and Human Rights Commission

David Munro

Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey and Lead, Diversity, Equality and Human Rights, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners

Wilf Sullivan

Race Equality Officer, TUC

Sanjay Bhandari

Assurance Cross-Service Line Solutions Lead, Ernst and Young

Cynthia Davis

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BAME Recruitment

Dr Malcolm Brynin

Reader, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex