World Economy

Ethnic Job Targets Could Boost UK Economy

Ethnic Job Targets Could Boost UK EconomyEthnic Job Targets Could Boost UK Economy

A review for the British government has laid a target-based framework for erasing racial inequality in the workplace, arguing it would also benefit the economy by up to £24 billion ($29.84 billion) annually.

The independent report, led by Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, found the UK is missing out on 1.3% of annual growth because people from black and minority-ethnic backgrounds face weaker levels of career and pay progression than their white colleagues, Sky News reported.

The review said only 6% of people from BME backgrounds reached top-level management positions, while their employment rates were 12% lower.

It also found that people from BME backgrounds were also more likely to work in lower paid and lower skilled jobs despite being more likely to have a degree.

It recommended that companies with 50 or more staff publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay, with five-year targets—overseen by a nominated board member—to ensure diversity is achieved.

This work, the review said, should be monitored by the government’s new Business Diversity and Inclusion Group, chaired by Business Minister Margot James, which aims to “coordinate action to remove barriers”.

Baroness McGregor-Smith, who will be on the panel, said: “The time for talk on race in the workplace is over, it’s time to act. If businesses and the government act on my recommendations, it will show everyone from a minority background that Britain’s workplace is for everyone, not just the privileged few.

“The consequences of continuing to do nothing will be damaging to the economy and to the aspirations of so many. So from the cabinet table to the board rooms, there is no more time for excuses—just change.”


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints