CIPD Voice: Issue 28
Racism and race related discrimination have been put sharply into focus during the last year. This has led to a renewed debate about race and ethnicity in our society and more specifically in the workplace.
How is race viewed by employers and employees?
Race is one of the earliest strands of equalities and has been protected by legislation since 1976. Yet, in our Race Inclusion Reports we found vast differences in the working experiences among different ethnic groups.
We carried out a survey and produced three reports:
- They do not feel a need to talk about it.
- They do not consider race and ethnicity an issue in their workplace.
- They do not see an issue with race inequality.
- There is a clear explanation of how the data would be used;
- Assurances of confidentiality are provided;
- Visible evidence of the organisation’s dedication to creating a fairer and more inclusive organisation;
- Senior leaders showing their commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion.
- Develop a comprehensive and well-resourced race inclusion strategy incorporating these three studied areas: conversations, data and career management.
- Collect, analyse and publish a framework of relevant ethnicity data and statistics across all the HR processes in your organisation (including recruitment, promotion, career development, and pay).
- Prepare for ethnicity pay gap reporting before it becomes mandatory and report voluntarily in advance if at all possible.
- Develop an action plan for tackling any ethnicity-based disadvantage.
- Support senior leaders to lead the way in initiating positive conversations about race, to be clearly visible as part of the D&I strategy and to communicate the importance of race and ethnicity in the organisation.
- Support line managers to manage their teams in a non-discriminatory and engaging fashion.
- Build a strong sense of belonging and involvement in the organisation by developing strategies to allow greater employee voice.
- Consult employees possibly via employee network groups on the most appropriate individual and collective terminology in relation to ethnicity.
- Develop a communications and involvement strategy to communicate and celebrate diversity aims and achievements, to share the organisation’s diversity data and to explain the D&I strategy.
Lutfur Ali, Public Policy Advisor, Inclusion and Diversity
Lutfur joined the CIPD in October 2021. Lutfur is also Non-Executive Director for the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) the professional body for business continuity and resilience experts. With a career spanning over three decades in the public, private and third sector, Lutfur has championed the delivery of social justice, equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and sustainability throughout his life. He has seen how effective EDI leadership in organisations can drive lasting improvement and change – making organisations healthier, inclusive, greener and resilient in becoming employers of first choice and best in class.
Prior to joining the CIPD Lutfur led a boutique consultancy practice and worked in a range of high-profile roles in the public, private and not for profit sector including: Director of EDI for the Tribal Group PLC (FTSE500), Head of EDI for the Department of Health, Head of EDI for the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Advisor to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Advisor to the National College of School Leadership and Associate to the National College of Policing. Lutfur was also Assistant Chief Executive for Tower Hamlets Council where he led the overall transformation programme in reshaping the organisations workforce, securing vital partnerships, generating income, and improving service delivery, in the context of achieving over 30% efficiency savings and protecting front line services. Lutfur has also held several Judicial Inquiry and advisory roles including for the Zahid Mubarak Inquiry, the Prime Ministers Prevent Task Force and the International Ministerial Working Group on Illegal Working.