Locking Black talent out cost UK £24bn



A hard hitting no-nonsense independent report, led by Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, concluded that the UK loses out on 24 billion pounds a year by ignoring and or locking out Black talent from the work place.

The review ‘Race In The Workplace’ stated that only 6% of people from BME backgrounds reached top-level management positions, while their employment rates were 12% lower than the average

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 has 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.

McGregor’s report said that big business and the public sector must stop hiding behind the mantle of  ‘unconscious bias’. The data,  her report argues demonstrates deep structural race inequality that can be achieved with a clear plan and strong leadership.

Last year the then Prime Minister David Cameron talked about the nations shame that a Black womanwith a foreign sounding name was forced to change her surname in order just to get an interview. Futhermore, unemployment levels for some BME communities in particularly Black youths are running at over 50%.

Some argue that unless the Government takes action there will be generational Black discontent.

Reviewing the progress by public and private companies following this report will 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.

OBV were proud to be on the advisory group for this report.

Simon Woolley