Black employees in Britain 'more career-minded than colleagues'

But they still feel held back because of their heritage, report shows

Serious group of businesspeople having problems at work. (iStockphoto.com)
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Black employees in Britain are significantly more ambitious than their work colleagues, but feel they are still held back due to their ethnicity, a new report has revealed.

The Prince's Responsible Business Network, representing more than 750 companies, published Race at Work: The Black Voices Report on Monday.

It which features new analysis of a survey carried out on more than 24,000 people.

In the survey, 74 per cent of Black employees said career progression was important to them, compared with 68 per cent of Asian and mixed ethnic group workers and 42 per cent of whites.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and 2020’s anti-racism protests have shone a light on the different lived experiences in the UK,” the report said.

“These disparities are compounded by overlapping social indicators such as ethnicity, low pay, housing, health and others.

"Better understanding of why these disparities exist in the workplace is important and the insight gained could help in the development and identification of necessary action and solutions."

Black employees were also found to be more likely to wait three years or more for a promotion, at 31 per cent compared to 23 per cent of white employees.

A third of Black employees felt their ethnicity was a barrier to their next career move, compared to only 1 per cent of white employees.

And 28 per cent of Black workers said they had witnessed or experienced racial harassment from managers, compared with only 13 per cent of whites.

The report revealed that 56 per cent of Black employees believe they are underpaid compared to 51 per cent of white employees and 49 per cent of Asian and mixed ethnic group employees.

The authors of the report called on the British government to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting and said the lack of employment data on race was holding back change.

They called on employers to speed up slower rates of promotion and increase access to career opportunities for Black people.

The document demanded that senior leaders actively sponsor Black talent and hold conversations on diversity in the workplace, and then plan on actions agreed to with their employees.

Marsha de Cordova, the UK shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, said the report set out clearly why ethnicity pay gap reporting is crucial.

“Introducing mandatory reporting can only be a good thing and the government's refusal to do so holds back our talented workforce," Ms de Cordova said.

"I welcome the further evidence that this report brings."