Westminster Employment Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

BAME equality in the workplace - tackling workplace culture, ethnicity pay gap reporting, and improving recruitment and progression

Morning, Monday, 15th June 2020



***Taking Place Online***

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) - with discussion on:

  • ethnicity pay reporting and data gathering,
  • embedding inclusive cultures and promoting the creation of diverse workplaces,
  • representation in leadership, and
  • improving recruitment practices.

Areas for discussion:

  • BAME leadership in UK businesses - with evidence of decline, how to tackle issues such as lack of opportunities and networks, discrimination, and absence of BAME role models;
  • Reversing the trends - best practice, and strategies such as recruitment of diversity officers at a senior level, use of specialist recruitment agencies, and introduction of mentoring programmes;
  • Recruitment practices - innovation to improve diversity, including the introduction of blind CVs and reviewing interview practices;
  • Inclusive cultures and fostering diverse workplaces - including how communication and language are being used to embed more equal and diverse cultures throughout organisations; and
  • Ethnicity pay reporting - latest thinking on employer best practice, the information reported, businesses affected, and the next steps including preparing for any future reporting requirements.

Why this is relevant: the context

It takes place with:

  • The 2019 BAME 100 Business Leaders Index finding a decline in BAME leadership;
  • The Parker Review update reporting almost 60% of companies surveyed not having met the target of having at least one director of colour on their board;
  • Reports of less ethnic diversity in the FTSE 250;
  • Recent Race Inequality in the Workforce report finding young people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds at a greater risk of being in unstable employment than their white peers; and
  • Nuffield College’s Centre for Social Investigation (CSI) finding that British citizens from ethnic minority backgrounds have to send, on average, 60% more job applications.

The agenda:

  • Measuring and reporting on the ethnicity pay gap: progress made, best practice and further steps to reduce inequality;
  • Progress since the introduction of The Race at Work Charter;
  • Developing diverse workplaces - gathering ethnicity data, gaining employees’ trust and changing culture;
  • Addressing inequality - progress since the Parker Review, Race Disparity Audit, and increasing BAME representation on boards;
  • Recruitment and progression for BAME talent - the role of employee networks and mentoring programmes; and
  • Next steps for BAME equality in the workplace and ethnicity pay reporting - policy priorities.

Policy officials attending

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders.

This one is proving particularly popular. Places have been reserved by officials from the BEIS; Cabinet Office; DCMS; Defra; Department for Education; Department for International Trade; Department for Transport; DWP; Education and Skills Funding Agency; Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Government Digital Service; Government Equalities Office; Health and Safety Executive; HMICFRS; HMPPS; HMRC; Home Office; House of Commons; Immigration Enforcement - Home Office; Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Justice; Ofcom; Office of Government Property and The Scottish Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a permanent record of the proceedings is made available to all delegates afterwards, including a recording of the addresses, all available slides, and further materials
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • we are working on opportunities for delegates to interact and network - watch this space!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

David Isaac

Chair, Equality and Human Rights Commission

Keynote Speakers

David Isaac

Chair, Equality and Human Rights Commission

Sandra Kerr CBE, OBE

Race Equality Director, Business in the Community

Dr Doyin Atewologun

Reader & Director, Gender, Leadership & Inclusion Centre, Cranfield School of Management


Lord Sheikh

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


Richard Iferenta

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

Wilf Sullivan

Race Equality Officer, TUC

Cynthia V. Davis

Chief Executive Officer & Founder, BAME Recruitment

Karen Flynn Macfarlane

Colleague Experience Lead for Ethnicity, Natwest

Fran Goble

Relationship Manager, Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion

Fudia Smartt

Partner - Employment, Spencer West

Katy Bennett

Diversity and Inclusion Consulting Director, PwC

Hammad Akhtar

Partner, Head of Corporate for Financial services, Pinsent Masons

Bernadette Thompson

Deputy Director Inclusion, wellbeing and public appointments People Capabilities and Change Directorate, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government