Home Business News 22% of UK employees face discrimination at work

22% of UK employees face discrimination at work

by LLB Reporter
15th Aug 23 5:43 am

An international survey by Savanta has found the extent of discrimination still faced by employees in UK workforces, with 22% of UK employees having faced prejudice at work because of their identity – the same research also found that 48% of people in the UK believe there are inequalities in promotion and pay in their organisation.

Also highlighted is that only 45% of UK respondents work for a company which has a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force, team or something similar. All employers should be working to create tangibly inclusive organisations.

Suki Sandhu OBE, CEO and founder Audeliss, the executive search firm specialising in diversity said, “It’s appalling to see that 22% of UK employees report facing discrimination in the workplace, a clear indication that leaders still have work to do to create tangibly inclusive organisations.

“The only way businesses can eradicate discrimination and biases in the workplace is through investing in DEI as a tool for cultural and systemic transformation in the long term. By prioritising employees and ensuring that businesses are primed for everyone’s success, leaders aren’t only doing what’s right, they’re also building stronger, future-proof businesses.

“Focusing on refining the workplace to attract and retain talent means businesses will only see an increase in innovation and greater commercial success.

DEI initiatives to improve workplace diversity and inclusion require time and resource investment – there is no easy way out. Leaders can start by embedding inclusive recruitment strategies, which ensure that discrimination embedded in many traditional hiring practices is stamped out.

This can look like, tapping into more diverse talent pools, ensuring diverse views are brought into the interview process and, where necessary, working with external executive search firms who are experts in diversifying organisations’ workforces. When looking inwards and at cultural change, the DEI journey can involve the likes of inclusion training and robust talent development programmes, which help to ensure all employees are included, seen and their career progress prioritised.

In recent years, there have been many discussions around DEI and its positive impact – but frankly, not enough action. Currently, some businesses are relying on employees who volunteer, who often themselves are from marginalised groups, to run Employee Resource Groups and push the DEI agenda.

“These groups often don’t get the support or resources necessary to improve the outlook for DEI within their workplace – plus, they’re not fairly renumerated for the work they are completing outside of their usual role.

“Real and sustained investment, both in terms of human and financial resources, must be dedicated to DEI from the very top of organisations to move the needle.

“Organisations must review current policies and practices and establish clear benchmarks for progress. What gets measured gets done and without clear targets, the work being done can get forgotten, or sidelined.

“For example, if you aren’t reporting your ethnicity pay gap or the disparities in experiences between employees from different backgrounds, how will you be able to tell when progress is being made, or which initiatives are working best? With reporting comes accountability and allows comprehensive plans to be put in place and definite improvements to be made.”

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