Dozens of British businesses, including names such as Barclays and Deloitte will be hiring black employees to increase diversity within their workforce.
A commitment to this effect was made by the businesses in an open letter.
In the letter the chiefs of 40 companies also called on other firms to follow suit, saying “what gets measured, gets done”.
Companies should set targets to recruit more people of color to senior posts, said the chair of the Equality and Human Rights commission of the UK, David Isaac.
Companies needed to “play their part” in increasing diversity in the workforce, Isaac said. The “unequal outcomes for people of color” has been highlighted by the murder of George Floyd in the United States, he said.
Less than 5 per cent of the most senior jobs across UK companies, government and public bodies have people from ethnic minority groups, said a report by diversity consultancy Green Park titled the Colour of Power 2020. There has hardly been any change in the figures over the lastfew years, the report said.
“We will always stand up for what we believe and to show our solidarity to stop racism, educate others and celebrate the diversity that will give us the strength in our changing world”, said the chief executive of E.On UK, Michael Lewis, while commenting on the pledge made by the companies.
Tangible steps to increase what they called their “black inclusivity” were pledged to be undertaken by the business leaders who signed the open letter.
According to the letter, some of these steps included:
- Setting targets for hiring a certain number of people from the black community and making recruiters accountable for short listing of a diverse set of candidates
- Creating mechanisms for investigating specific challenges and barriers preventing growth of black talent with organizations and making use of focus groups for obtaining a proper understanding of the experiences of black and minority colleagues
- Creating educational programs for employees about the experiences of black people not only at the workplace but in the society as well
- Being vulnerable to staff and admitting leaders haven’t done enough to increase diversity.
The campaign was organized by Involve, a consultancy promoting diversity and inclusion in business. He has been encouraged by the number of signatures, said Suki Sandhu OBE, the founder and chief executive of the entity.
“The call to action sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement has not gone quiet and businesses need to step up to maintain the momentum in driving change to improve black inclusion,” he says.
“It is my hope that as more and more CEOs sign the letter, we can use the commitments outlined as a place to start to drive change in the workplace, and monitor progress as these businesses openly report their progress year on year”.
(Adapted form BBC.com)