Race in the Workplace

In an increasingly multicultural society, we can only truly become the best choice for employment if our workforce accurately reflects the racial diversity of our local, regional and national populations. However, BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) communities continue to be under-represented in the UK workplace.

Research tells us that only 3.4% of BAME individuals represent Heads of FTSE 100 companies, 0.5% of Professors are Black and there are only 3 BAME Vice-Chancellors in the UK's top 50 universities.

Race in the workplace is becoming increasingly important to attract the best talent and we are making efforts to improve our recruitment of workers from different ethnicities. We have outlined our commitment to improve our BAME representation in the University Strategy, this includes introducing a Strategic Performance Indicator (SPI) to improve UK BAME representation from 5% to 8% by 2022/23.  

Understanding the advantages of a racially diverse workforce will help us to develop an organisation with a competitive edge, where top talent is no longer represented by a homogeneous group, but represents people from many different backgrounds and life experiences.

Benefits of a racially diverse workforce include but are not limited to:

  • Increase in productivity – enabling managers to bring in new skills and methods. According to  Mckinsey, diverse organisations are more productive and more profitable than those that are homogeneous.

  • Increase in creativity & innovation – staff from varied cultural backgrounds and life experiences often approach a problem from a new perspective and can offer alternative insight to problem-solving. A report by Deloitte shows that diverse teams have a 60% improvement in decision-making and when employees feel included innovation increases by 83%.

  • Attract and retain talent - being included and appreciated increases loyalty and a feeling of belonging. In a survey from Glassdoor, 67 percent of job seekers say a racially diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating job offers. 

  • Positive reputation – a racially diverse workforce evidences that an organisation has a proactive approach to reducing discrimination. Potential employees want to know that employers treat their staff equally regardless of race. Such organisations are often perceived positively by BAME individuals for their openness and inclusion.

A good starting point to help leaders, managers and teams develop a proactive approach to meet our strategic objectives is the 'Diversity and Inclusion: A road map to success framework' document. Please click on the 'Guidance Document' box to access.


A resource for leaders, managers and teams to develop a proactive approach to meet our strategic objectives.

Diversity & Inclusion Roadmap (PDF, 155kB)

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