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Diversity chief: Businesses 'have to finally play ball'

SPEAKING OUT: Sarah Garrett MBE

A Government audit released yesterday (Oct 10) which lays bare the extent of discrimination in UK workplaces means businesses can no longer ignore the barriers BAME individuals face, one of Britain’s top diversity and inclusion experts Sarah Garrett MBE has said.

Sarah Garrett, co-founder of the British LGBT Awards and founder of the Investing in Ethnicity & Race Conference, said BAME individuals face ‘significant challenges’ when it comes to equality of opportunity.

The Government report offers an unprecedented insight into how people from different backgrounds face a postcode lottery of outcomes, as the unemployment rate for ethnic minorities is nearly double that of white British adults, with a larger gap in the north of 13.6 per cent, compared to 9 per cent in the South.

Speaking about the study, Sarah Garrett MBE said: "When the Prime Minister stood on the steps of Downing St in July 2016, she promised to tackle the burning injustices BAME people face. What this audit does is reveals the issues that we hear all too often when we speak to people in a range of sectors across the UK economy. It cannot be right that in Britain today, just because of the colour of one’s skin, there are still significant barriers to overcome if people want to succeed."

"Indeed those from a BAME background often see big businesses as completely impenetrable, as somewhere they have no hope of getting a job and where their CVs will go straight in the bin. It is now time for Government and business leaders to stand up to their responsibilities, work together to confront the challenges, and finally start to play ball to help put an end to the problems highlighted in the audit”.

Ms Garrett’s remarks came ahead of the pioneering Investing in Ethnicity & Race Conference this Friday 13 October, supported by Bank of England, HSBC and TSB, which aims to help over 80 businesses take positive actions back to the workplace.

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