Charity Business in the Community has released the results of a survey about race issues at work that reveal racism is still a big problem in UK offices.
The Race at Work report shows that 30% of those surveyed say they have witnessed or experienced racial harassment or bullying in the workplace in the past year. In addition, many employees from all races feel undervalued and uninspired, with only 11% of Black Caribbean and just 7% of other black ethnicity staff saying they have positive role models at work.
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees are more likely to enjoy their work and have greater ambition than their white counterparts. 41% of BAME employees say it’s important to progress, while only 41% of white staff members feel the same. However, only 55% of BAME employees reported feeling like a valued member of their team, compared with 71% of white employees.
The BBC’s Newsbeat heard from several people who have witnessed or experienced racial bullying. One man says he was once called a “dirty Muslim” by a colleague who refused to use a piece of equipment after him. The colleague made the comment to another fellow employee, who reported it to their manager. The incident was eventually dismissed by management because “they took his word over the person he said it to”.
The same man says he has been spat at and was assaulted by a colleague last year for returning a borrowed item a week later than promised. When he spoke to management about the incident, they suggested he didn’t report it to avoid being alienated from his co-workers.
Business in the Community is calling on Parliament to include race in the definition of diversity and change the UK Corporate Governance Code.
View the full Race at Work report at bit.ly/1NKiy1r