We know that before we can effect real change, we need to start at the centre. We also know that it will take strong leadership to end racism in workplaces and in society and we are committed to inclusion and diversity being an integral part of our strategy driven by the CEO and accountable to our Board.

Last year we set out our action plan and commitments below and have been working hard to make progress.


We set out to have zero pay gaps and pay equality at all levels and roles within the CIPD and greater representation of black and minority ethnic employees in more senior roles.

  • We now have a fuller picture of ethnicity within the CIPD. This gives us better data to analyse how we’re doing in areas like progression, pay and recruitment for people from different backgrounds. We continuously monitor pay differentials and our ethnicity pay gap has decreased since we first reported it in our Annual Report last year.
  • We’ve analysed recruitment and progression trends so that we can see where action is needed. Our progression trends indicate that there’s not been disadvantage in historic progression but, though our lived experience research, we heard that promotions are not always seen to be objective or transparent, so we know there is more that we need to do. We’ll be looking next at how we’re developing our line managers to disrupt traditional patterns of behaviour so there are multiple ways to grow a career at the CIPD and get involved.
  • We’ll continue to focus on ensuring our recruitment approach is as inclusive as possible. So far this has included analysis of progression trends, using a new assessment matrix for hiring managers for consistency and fairness and working with our agencies to ensure that candidate shortlists are diverse.
  • Questions on inclusion and diversity are now included in the due diligence questionnaire required for completion by all potential suppliers for contracts. Existing suppliers have also completed the due diligence process.

Organisation and culture

We committed to listening and learning from our colleagues:

  • In 2020, we appointed external experts to help us understand the lived experiences of black people, Asian people and those from other ethnic minority groups in the CIPD. This research was an important way for us to hold up a mirror, to understand that experience and see where – and why – there might be barriers to inclusion and belonging at the CIPD.  We’ve agreed a set of actions that we will be taking forward.
  • We also added further questions about inclusion and diversity to our internal pulse surveys. These questions help us to measure people’s perceptions of our efforts to create an environment where every individual feels included and valued for the differences they bring.
  • Learning opportunities have included a series of events for National Inclusion Week, talking about what inclusion means and how we can make it an everyday reality at the CIPD. To mark Black History Month, we celebrated black pioneers in the world of work. 
  • EmbRACE, our own employee resource group focused on racial diversity and inclusion, has supported learning with ‘Let’s talk race’ discussions for the whole organisation and follow up sessions with individual teams as well as a session on career progression with senior leaders in the organisation.  
  • We also surveyed our people to review how we produce our work, with a focus on racial inclusion. We asked our people to consider our processes and procedures, language and the way in which we make decisions. The results of the survey will inform more in-depth conversations with people in different business areas, about how we deliver our own work and how we can be more inclusive.

While we’ve made progress, we know that we need to do more. We have recruited a new Head of Inclusion and Diversity, which will bring focus and momentum to our work to make the CIPD a more inclusive place, where all our people feel a genuine sense of belonging and are valued for the differences they bring.   

Find out more about the work we are doing externally, with our members, the wider profession, and our calls on Government.