Business in the Community is seeking the highest number of responses to date for the 2021 Race at Work survey, which aims to capture how employees see racial bias and discrimination.

There has been a significant increase in Welsh businesses signing the charter following  the Black Lives Matter campaign that has followed the death of George Floyd in May 2020. The organistions who have signed up include signatories including the Welsh Government, the Admiral Group and moneysupermarket.com.

These businesses are now encouraging their staff to complete the 2021 Race at Work survey before June 30.

Sandra Kerr CBE, race director at Business in the Community, has a passion for equality. She told The National, “Everybody’s blood is red. Everyone matters. Everyone wants to belong and feel valued.”

Kerr wants leadership to include black voices, allyship for a better future for and for BAME people to speak up. Also, for employers to listen to the challenges employees are facing in the work and world so we can all make a difference together.

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As the largest survey of its kind, the Race at Work Survey it is one of the most influential datasets on indicators of discrimination and bias at work.

Business in the Community is calling for employees and employers across the country to share their experiences of race in the workplace and join the 681 businesses signed up to the Race at Work charter.

Kerr said: “Every response to this survey is a radical act: real change never comes from ignorance. Despite the insights from 2015 and 2018, it is shocking how little we still know about day-to-day experiences of ethnically diverse employees.

“The fact that Race at Work signatories have more than doubled over the last ten months is extraordinary and I am optimistic that this surge of ambition from employers will translate into different experiences on the ground.”

The 2021 survey will explore the experiences of employees in the workplace across the UK to gather insight into the careers of all ethnicities. By completing the survey, Respondents can be part of driving forward equality in the workplace and challenging racial bias and discrimination.

Business in the Community’s recent Black Voices report showed that 33 per cent of black employees feel their ethnicity will be a barrier to their next career move, compared to only one per cent of white employees.

Richard Iferenta, chair of the BITC’s race equality team, and vice-chair and partner at KPMG, said: “The urgency and magnitude of racial inequality in the workplace demands more action, which will only happen if voices are amplified and heard, so I’m pleased that the 2021 Race at Work survey will give over 25,000 people this much-needed opportunity.”

Claire Camara, people director for organisational effectiveness at the Co-operative and member of BITC’s race equality leadership team, said: “We’re proud to support the Race at Work survey; together we have the power to be the driving force for change.

“At this time, is so important to give every voice a chance to be heard. This is important for the Co-op and our vision of ‘Co-operating for a fairer world’.”

Following the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities government report, 11 members of BITC’s race equality leadership team wrote a private letter to the Prime Minister urging for ethnicity pay gap reporting to be made mandatory for employers.

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Khaled Shahbo, senior vice president UK and Ireland at Enterprise Holdings, said: “At Enterprise, equity, inclusion and diversity have been the cornerstone of our business since our inception.

“We are incredibly proud to support the Race at Work survey with other organisations to ensure that workplaces are challenged to be welcoming and inclusive environments for everyone. I would like to encourage other UK business leaders to have their employees participate.”

Deborah Dorman, director of Group HR at Sainsbury’s, said: “We want to be the most inclusive retailer, where every single one of our colleagues can fulfil their potential and where all of our customers feel welcome when they shop with us.

“Ethnic diversity and equality are a very important part of this, so we were keen to sponsor the Race at Work survey. The findings will enable us to build on the actions that we are already taking and further amplify our commitment to improving equality of opportunity in the workplace.”

This year the survey aims to capture ethnicity data, information surrounding career progression, effective allyship and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the ethnically diverse workforce.

The data will be used to determine the progress made since the 2018 survey, which found that more than half of black, Asian and minority ethnic employees (52 per cent) believed that they would have to leave their current organisation to progress in their career.

The 2021 data will be used to drive positive change and inform policy around equality in the workplace to build on the progress made by the Race at Work charter.

Race at Work surveys in the past six years shaped the focus of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review: Race in the Workplace, while the 2018 data led to the creation of the Race at Work charter which has been signed by more than 681 companies – 423 of which signed since George Floyd’s death last year.