The number of employers reporting their ethnicity pay gap has risen by 14% since 2022, according to new findings.
This year’s Race at Work Charter survey revealed that 44% of organisations published their ethnicity pay gap, compared to 30% last year.
The research, carried out by Business in the Community (BITC) and the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, further found that the number of employers with a Race Champion or an Executive Sponsor for race remained at 95% – unchanged from 2020.
More than half (53%) of organisations polled have targets to boost the racial diversity of senior leadership and their boards – a small rise from the 46% that reported the same three years ago.
The study, which involved around 250 employers and represented 1.2 million workers in the UK, further discovered a reduction in the number of companies reviewing their bullying and harassment policies. While nearly all (95%) have a policy in place, the percentage of those carrying out reviews of their effectiveness is falling. In 2019, 45% had conducted a review, but this dropped to 38% in 2020 and to 25% this year.
While 84% of those surveyed support ethnically diverse individuals in leadership, progression, and recruitment – a rise from the 74% who said the same in 2020 – just 44% have outlined objectives for their senior team and board including action on race. This is a reduction from 2019 and 2020, when these figures stood at 50% and 46% respectively.
Sandra Kerr CBE, race director at Business in the Community, said: “It’s encouraging to see an increase in the number of employers taking action to address racial inequalities in the workplace, however, there is still a lot of work to be done.
“Whilst the survey shows that almost all employers have good policies for bullying and harassment, it is disappointing to see that only one in four review these policies to ensure that they are working. With BITC research showing that three in 10 Black, Asian, Mixed Race, and other ethnically diverse employees have experienced or witnessed bullying and harassment in the workplace, this is an area that employers need to address urgently.
“Having policies in place is a step in the right direction, but without understanding if these policies are actually working, employers cannot honestly say that they have robust policies and procedures in place to deal with bullying and harassment in their workplaces.”
Richard Iferenta, partner and vice chair at KPMG and chair of BITC’s race leadership team, added: “It is encouraging to see that 95% of employers have committed to having a senior leader with responsibility for addressing race inequalities in the workplace. Equal opportunities at work, regardless of a person’s background, can help under-represented talent to progress in their careers. This is not only the right thing to do, but it also helps to ensure that the UK’s workforce becomes more reflective of the working-age population, of which one in five comes from a Black, Asian, Mixed Race, or other ethnically diverse background.”