The link I'm nudging readers towards this time might be one for when you get time for a decent tea/coffee break, because it’s a bit of a long read. But I think it’s an important one for those organisations committed to driving greater ethnic diversity and inclusion – which, encouragingly, is most of the ones I speak to these days.
It’s a good reminder of a couple of really key points which we sometimes forget in our quest to engage ‘BAME’:
1) not all ethnic groups are the same
2) we shouldn’t ignore the intersections – in this case, between ethnicity and gender (we can’t treat women as one homogenous group either)
3) this is a long game; if we truly want D&I in our organisations, we need to balance target-driven ‘buying it in now’ with meaningful interventions to build better pipelines for the future
The sidebar in this article doesn’t really do justice to the study it summarises. So in case you don’t get that decent tea/coffee break (I hear you) below are some of the sections – beyond the initial introductory paragraphs – you might like to jump to:
What kind of jobs do Britain’s ethnic minorities do? – shows the over- and under-representation of 9 ethnic groups across different industry sectors. A good reference point for organisations looking to build truly ethnically diverse pipelines in the short, medium, and longer term.
How do ethnic minorities compare in terms of pay? – while interesting in its own right, this section also contains a really interesting nugget around those groups less likely to participate in training, which may, of course, have knock on effects in terms of their being able to access progression. Does your organisation track the participation rates for different demographics when it comes to training?
BAME educational performance – lots of interesting nuggets, including around impact among those eligible for free school meals across ethnic groups, discrepancies around performance at university; and employment rates six months post graduation.
If we genuinely want to address challenges around diversity and inclusion, this report suggests we need to consider where ethnic minority groups are starting from (and what interventions we might stage there) as much as where we, as employers, want to get to.
Context is everything. That feels like good food for thought.
Ethnic minorities are younger than average, accounting for 20 percent of those aged 24 or under; by 2051, they could account for one in five of the population. The implication is that ethnic minorities will become even more important in terms of their contribution to society and the economy than they are now.