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Do British businesses employ enough BAME individuals?

SPEAKING UP: Tulip Siddiq

LABOUR MP Tulip Siddiq has called for businesses to ‘coldly analyse’ the amount of BAME individuals they employ and address any imbalance.

The MP for Hampstead and Kilburn will speak at the Investing in Ethnicity and Race conference in London this October, where businesses will discuss the benefits of employing a diverse workforce.

Ms Siddiq said it wasn’t just big business that needed to improve the diversity of its workforce, adding that just 8% of MPs are BAME, compared to 14% of people in Britain’s wider society.

Siddiq said: “the Investing in Ethnicity and Race conference this October is a real chance for businesses in London and beyond to understand just what BAME individuals can bring to the table."

“This year, in a sure sign that our multicultural society has helped us build a successful, modern Britain, we elected our most diverse Parliament yet. But there are still just 8% of MPs who are BAME, compared to 14% of people in wider society. We need to ensure that our House reflects the experiences of everyone in Britain, and not just the most privileged.

“It’s important for young people to see figures they can relate to in top positions in the worlds of politics and business. And it’s important for businesses to take an honest look at who they employ, to coldly analyse the figures, and address areas where there is imbalance.”

The Labour MP’s comments came in advance of the Investing in Ethnicity and Race conference this October. The conference follows a government review which found that lack of BAME talent in executive positions is costing the economy £24bn a year.

The Race in the Workplace study, led by Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, discovered that the employment rate for people of BAME backgrounds (62.8%) is 12% lower than that of their white counterparts, with just 6% landing executive jobs.

Some 58% of FTSE 100 boards have no minority presence, with white women 20 times more likely be a Chair, CEO or CFO than an ethnic minority woman. Among FTSE 100 companies, senior day-to-day management is less ethno-culturally diverse year-on-year.

Founder of the Investing in Ethnicity & Race initiative, Sarah Garrett MBE, believes boardrooms and workforces need to reflect the diversity of British society.

She said: “Diversity is so often a rarity at the top table. Almost six out of ten FTSE 100 boards have no minority presence. BAME graduates are less likely to become employed than their white counterparts. Some 60% of black employees feel their career development has failed to meet their expectations.

“We welcome Tulip Siddiq’s comments. Businesses need to take no-nonsense approach to employing more BAME individuals.”

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