Ethnicity affects progression at work, say business leaders
BAME employees ?not on the radar? of boards, with
unconscious bias and ?old boys? networks? to blame
Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of senior executives believe their ethnicity
or race has had a significant impact on their career, according to a new report
which lays bare the lack of progress on inclusive at all levels of business.
The study, from networking platform Engage and recruiters Harvey
Nash, surveyed 130 senior executives from various cultural backgrounds. Just
over half (52 percent) of respondents said CEOs and executives lack an
understanding of the benefits of a diverse board, while 62 per cent felt people
from ethnic minorities were ?not on the radar? of leadership teams or
executive search firms.
Leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds suggested that the unconscious
the bias of CEOs and boards ? which are 95 percent white among the FTSE 100
? is preventing BAME employees from reaching the upper echelons of
business. Four-fifths (82 per cent) of all leaders felt that factors aside from
their merits and qualifications had hindered their career progression.
The figures follow a recent investigation from the Equality & Human Rights
Commission (EHRC), which found that only 13 per cent of FTSE 100
companies provide training on equality law or avoiding unconscious bias to
those with board recruitment responsibilities.
Denise Keating, chief executive of the Employers Network for Equality and
Inclusion (enei), said the outdated “‘old boys? network? was still being used
widely in businesses, and that too few companies are setting targets for
BAME candidates or actively encouraging them to apply for roles.
?Perception is reality and if people believe [they are being held back] then
there is clearly an issue which needs to be addressed,? said Keating. ?Some
employees can be ?kept out? through organisational culture and leaders?
negative behaviours, such as focusing on how a new board member may ?fit
in? with them.
?There?s a wealth of research showing that diverse executive boards enjoy
significantly higher earnings and returns on equity (ROE). For instance, an
EHRC report found that companies with the highest levels of diversity had
ROE that was 53 percent higher than those with the least.?
The Engage/Harvey Nash report suggests a number of actions BAME leaders
feel would improve diversity on boards, including: targeting recruiters to
include diverse candidates on shortlists (36 percent); educating CEOs and
boards on the value of diversity (32 percent); and insisting on transparency
and reporting on both the full recruitment process and ethnic diversity at
executive and board level (28 per cent).
Keating backed the call for greater accountability: ?Diversity should be on the
board agenda and there should be targets for individual board members to
achieve, including a requirement to regularly report progress. Boards also
need to be trained in both inclusive leadership and unconscious bias, and
communication needs to focus on progress, role models and the
organisation?s commitment, as well as its overall intentions.
?Organisations with a lack of board diversity need to find out what is really
happening, and set standards to achieve progress,? she added. ?This includes
using staff surveys, networks and focus groups to get feedback, and
developing action plans to address them at every level in the organisation.?
Source: CIPD, July 2016
Following the above scenario, you are required to write a report including the
1. Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of senior executives believe their,
ethnicity or race has had a significant impact on their career, according
to a new report which lays bare the lack of progress on inclusive at all
levels of business.
Referring to the types of discrimination, analyse the various aspects of
discrimination associated with the individual?s career progression that
may have experienced by the employees from an ethnic background.
2. There are challenges for organisations to improve fairness at work by
encouraging fair employment practices.
In relation to the career progression issue experienced by ethnic
managers, raised by the above article, critically discuss how
organisations can address inequality and discrimination in the
workplace. Your analysis should refer the importance of organisational
practices and policies for the equality.
(Total word limit: 2000 words)