The Business Case for an Investor-led Diversity Movement

Following the Covid-19 pandemic and societal unrest, investors are beginning to recognise a systemic risk which threatens the long term returns from their investments: diversity.

The days of being able to depend on a solid product offering and quality customer service to attract investors are over. Today’s consumers and employees are using their pocketbooks to drive social change. From deciding where to work, to choosing which product to buy, people of all ages now place purpose higher on the chart than profit.

Investors will do well to heed this change and factor it into their investment choices. However, those who simply view diversity and inclusion commitments as a risk mitigation strategy are missing an opportunity to increase their returns. The business case for an investor-led diversity movement will open up new opportunities for future growth. When reviewing the consumer and employer benefits of diversity commitment and action, the commercial benefits are crystal clear....

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Ten Black-owned Businesses Driving Change in the UK

When we say that Black-owned businesses are changing the world, we aren’t exaggerating. In fact, a 2020 study by the Federation of Small Business reported that 30% of Black and minority-owned businesses engaged in recent product or service innovation, compared to only 11% of non-ethnic minority firms. Since 2002, minority ethnic groups have typically reported a higher Total Entrepreneurial Activity rate than their non-minority ethnic counterparts, meaning that a greater proportion of working-age adults in minority ethnic groups are engaged in business start-ups than non-minority ethnic groups. Black and minority ethnic entrepreneurs are contributing to the profitability of UK PLC, to the tune of £25bn in economic contribution to the UK’s Gross Value Added, or total value of goods and services produced in the UK. In addition to generating profits, many of these businesses are also acting with purpose: to drive change in the UK.

This year we launched our new...

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How to Build a Race Allies Campaign in Your Workplace

Research shows one of the major barriers preventing companies from becoming inclusive workplaces is a fear of talking about race. Driving a significant shift in corporate culture is a challenge at the best of time, but becomes practically impossible when people are afraid to discuss the topic. How can we bridge this gap?

To help organisations tackle this fundamental problem, we examined what steps leaders can take to set the tone from the top and create an environment where difficult topics are discussed in an open forum. We interviewed experts in HR and D&I, network leaders, and executives to find out what did and did not work well.

While executives play a key role in starting conversations, the experts also identified another group of importance: race allies. We’ve created a guide for how you can identify race allies and equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to drive change in your business.

Why Race Allies are Critical

Simply put, an ally is an individual...

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How HR Can Support the Progression of Ethnic Minority Talent

Reports such as The Parker Review have called for at least one “leader of colour” on FTSE 100 boards by 2021, while The McGregor-Smith Review further highlights the importance of inter-organisation stakeholder collaboration between teams. Yet, only 4.7% of the most powerful roles in the UK are currently filled by non-white individuals, according to the Colour of Power 2020 report, illustrating how much more remains to be done across the U.K business landscape. The moral argument for equality is undeniable, and yet Black and Ethnic Minority individuals still face barriers to growth in the workplace. Despite visible minorities accounting for 13% of the population, there is a disproportionately low number who are reaching the top.

Achieving sustainable and measurable change requires commitment and active participation from those with the power and privilege to recognise, challenge and change the behaviours and practices that prevent equity and inclusion. Human Resources...

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How to Build a Collaborative D&I Task Force

Removing the challenges minority ethnic employees face in the workplace requires the efforts of multiple stakeholders. These include the CEO and other executives, HR team members, network leads, and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) practitioners. Often, we find that although these groups share the same goal, they fail to make meaningful progress. We wanted to understand why.

In our report The Middle, we interviewed these stakeholders and looked at their experiences of tackling organisational challenges hindering minority ethnic representation and advancement. There was strong consistency in their feedback. The data states that the lack of coherence and coordination between different stakeholder groups charged with advancing the minority ethnic agenda is the root of the issue.

Their frustration was evident. Time and again, the people we interviewed highlighted how coordination and accountability would have a profound positive impact on progress – both in achieving objectives...

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12 Thought-Provoking Reads on Diversity and Inclusion

This month we’ve assembled a list of books you can use to help champion diversity and inclusion in your workplace. Ranging from topics such as making the business case for D&I, to tackling unconscious bias, to identifying and examining invisible lines of division, these books will empower you with tools you’ll need to drive change.

Inclusive Conversations by Mary-Frances Winters

Mary-Frances Winters pulls on her years of experience as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant in writing this practical guide to having inclusive conversations in the workplace. Published in 2020, the book was written against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, #BlackLivesMatter, and #MeToo, and uses them to underscore the importance of having fruitful conversations now. The book offers both practical tips and a glossary of terms, making it appropriate for both people who have traditionally held positions of power and those who have historically been marginalised.

Demystifying...

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Encouraging Self-Identification at Your Workplace

As organisations set targets for the coming year, there is little doubt that diversity must be high on the list. With ongoing calls for genuine social change, organisations cannot afford to ignore the topic of race in the workplace. Employees, shareholders and consumers alike will expect businesses to declare their intentions, by setting meaningful goals and putting in place plans to achieve them. For many organisations, the question is where to start.

In the second edition of our report The Middle: Progressing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Talent in the Workplace Through Collaborative Action, we interviewed stakeholders, leaders and specialists from around the UK to understand how businesses can improve diversity and representation in their organisations, particularly at the upper levels. Using insights from the lived experiences of four key stakeholder groups (D&I Practitioners, HR Directors, Employee Network leaders and Executive Sponsors), we have gathered case studies...

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14 Binge-worthy Podcasts About Race and Diversity

To start 2021 off right, we’ve assembled a list of binge-worthy podcasts on the topics of race, diversity, and inclusion. Ranging from informative to entertaining, from thought-provoking to soulful, you can be sure to find at least one show which captures your interest. 

Where to start

In About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge, bestselling author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, heads up a podcast that takes the conversation a step further. Although there are only a handful of episodes, this podcast still ranks at the top of the list. Eddo-Lodge interviews MPs, activists, artists, journalists and more to discuss anti-racist activism and how it impacts politics today. Listen here: About Race https://www.aboutracepodcast.com/

Emmanuel Acho does not believe that ignorance is bliss. If racism is a disease of the mind, it can only be fixed by recognising and speaking openly about it. He joins famous celebs for uncomfortable conversations about white...

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