This conference examined the next steps for ethnic minority equality, inclusion, and progression in the workplace.
Stakeholders and policymakers discussed key issues following the publication of the Government’s Inclusive Britain strategy, which was produced in response to The report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED).
It was an opportunity to assess recommendations highlighted in the Government’s response - including on apprenticeships, improving ethnicity data standards and use of AI, and the creation of an Inclusion at Work Panel - and the way forward for organisations and their workforce.
Drawing on wider issues in employment policy, further discussion looked at the future of reporting the ethnicity pay gap, tackling racial discrimination in the workplace, and developing strategies to ensure fairness in recruitment and progression and to counter bias.
Ethnic diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship was also discussed, including what is needed to support growth and productivity of SMEs formed by people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Further discussion assessed the current trends and priorities for improving diversity on UK executive boards, following the March update to the Parker Review, which recommended a continued focus for improving diversity on UK boards in FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies.
Overall, sessions in the agenda brought out latest developments and thinking on:
- policy: assessing progress since the CRED recommendations - next steps following the Government’s response - implications for organisations and their workforce
- tackling discrimination: developing policy - priorities for HR and personnel - best practice in improving employer-workforce engagement, and ingraining equality, diversity, and inclusion
- workplace culture: strategies for change - examining zero tolerance policy - unconscious bias and diversity training - legal representation and fair counsel for staff
- pay disparity: the impact of changes to pay gap reporting - tackling core disparities in salaries - employer strategies for closing the pay gap
- recruitment and progression: practices in recruiting people from ethnic minority backgrounds - targeting talent and addressing bias - mentoring and HR strategies to support progression
- representation at all levels: businesses’ response to the Parker Review update report - next steps for equality in executive and senior roles, and promoting diverse talent
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with Rebecca Thomas, Head of Employment Policy, Equality and Human Rights Commission; Sandra Kerr, Race Director, Business in the Community; Dr Tony Sewell, Chair, Generating Genius; and Chair, Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities; Professor Uzo Iwobi CBE, Founder & CEO, Race Council Cymru; former Specialist Policy Adviser to Welsh Government on Equalities, 2019-2021; and former Commissioner, Commission for Racial Equality; Rashida Abdulai, Founder & CEO, Strand Sahara; and Dr Doyin Atewologun, Dean of the Rhodes Scholarships, University of Oxford; Director, Delta Alpha Psi; and Academic Adviser, Parker Review Steering Committee.
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from BEIS; Crown Prosecution Service; Defra; DIT; Department for the Economy, NI; DfT; Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Ireland; DWP; FSS; GLD; HMRC; Home Office; MoD; NAO; and The Scottish Government.