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.
The conference will also be an opportunity to consider the role and impact of the newly formed Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, which will partner with the Cabinet Office’s Race Disparity Unit to investigate the benefits, and potential biases, created by algorithmic decision making in recruitment and other areas of society.
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.