Almost half of Black employees have left job due to lack of diversity, research suggests

Exclusive: “To learn that two in five Black employees have left a job due to these issues is a sombre reminder of the consequences of inaction,” a research consultant said.

Nadine White
Wednesday 13 October 2021 19:35
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Four in ten (42 per cent) Black employees have resigned from their job citing a lack of workplace diversity and inclusion compared with just 26 per cent white staff members, new research has suggested.

The report by Savanta’s Diversity & Inclusion team also found that that three in ten Black employees feel discriminated against by their employer (28 per cent compared with 25 per cent white employees).

The proportion of employed adults who feel discriminated against at work rises to a third of Asian employees (32 per cent).

Black Lives Matter protests swept across the world, including Britain, in the wake of the George Floyd’s murder at the hands of serving US police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020.

A mass reckoning around race ensued with numerous organisations, across the public and private sector, issuing public statements of solidarity with the anti-racism movement and pledging to ramp up efforts to improve on diversity and inclusion.

Three in ten employees overall said that their employer had made them aware that their organisation supported the BLM movement (30 per cent), with one in five (22 per cent) reporting that their employer released a statement addressing the matter.

However, three in ten employees say that their employer took no measures at all to address the BLM movement (28 per cent).

Commenting on the findings, Tania Findlay, Senior Research Consultant and member of Diversity & Inclusion Committee at Savanta said: “Savanta are proud to have completed such an important piece of research, but it is clear that there is so much work still to be done within UK businesses and brands.

“Whilst it’s encouraging that a significant proportion of employers have taken action to support the BLM movement, to learn that two in five Black employees have left a job due to a lack of D&I is a sombre reminder of the consequences of inaction.

“We hope this report will enlighten other companies on the possible consequences of not taking this issue seriously and enacting real change.”

The market researchers spoke with 1,500 employed UK adults, made up of 500 White respondents, 500 Black respondents, and 500 Asian or other ethnic minority respondents, to understand their experiences in the workplace as well as how they interact with brands.

In related news, this comes after Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, this week published the 2021 Race at Work survey which found that Black candidates are less likely to believe that they are being treated fairly by recruitment agencies.

In a survey of over 24,600 people, BITC found that only three in 10 of Black, Asian, Mixed Race and ethnically diverse employees said they believe that they are treated fairly when working with a recruitment agency, compared to five in 10 of White people.

Recent analysis of ONS figures by the Trade Union Congress found that the unemployment rate for Black and minority ethnic workers has risen at three times the speed of the unemployment rate for white workers.

The analysis reveals that the BME unemployment rate shot up from 6.3 per cent to 8.9 per cent between the first quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, an increase of 41 per cent.

Moreover, an ethnicity gap has been found between white and non-white workers with the former significantly happier at work during the pandemic than the latter, according to consultancy firm WorkL, set up by former Waitrose boss Mark Price.

The survey of 20,000 people worldwide saw that Black women the least likely to feel empowered at work and Black men are the least happy at work, than their white counterparts.

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