UK businesses that provide targeted support to ethnic minority employees to achieve racial equity are recording an average of 58% higher revenue than those which are not.
According to new research from Henley Business School, these organisations are also more likely to benefit from enhanced staff loyalty and creativity, also ultimately leading to value
Despite this progress however, Henley’s research showed there are still fundamental issues to address in eliminating racism in the workplace and black employees remain the worst off.
They are more than twice as likely to experience racial discrimination compared to Asians and mixed ethnic minorities (19% v 9% and 8%).
Dr Naeema Pasha, Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Henley Business School, said: “Racial equity and business success should not be separate conversations. It is critical to any organisation wanting to achieve its aims and ambitions in this challenging world of work.
"Of course, we all want to say that racism has no place in business, education or society.
“But the experience of the pandemic and social movements like Black Lives Matter have shown us that we need to shift our organisational, cultural thinking to ensure we work on racial equity.
“This is not just because it’s a good thing or seen as worthy, but because it is valuable and essential to organisational success.”
The Henley research showed that the leading form of discriminatory action cited by ethnic minorities is discrimination in work allocation (41%). Verbal abuse is second (33%), and following this it is inappropriate and unfair application of work policies or rules (29%).
When it comes to recognising racial inequity, white business leaders are significantly less likely to have seen discrimination in their organisation in comparison to those from an ethnic minority background (30% v 47%).
It may not, therefore, bode well when the survey also showed 70% of those surveyed said their senior leadership was white.