Racism remains ‘prevalent’ in the workplace, with conditions largely unchanged since the 1970s for some employees, suggests a new report from Race for Opportunity.
The report finds the highest salaries are often closed off for black and minority ethnic (BME) staff. The report shows BME people make up more than 10% of the population, but only 8.5% of the workforce and 6% of management roles.
Only 30% respondents thought it was easy to find a job in politics, the armed forces, the police, medicine, finance, law, education or the media. Just under half (48%) still perceive racism in the police and 36% believe the armed forces are racist.
As far as black Caribbean respondents are concerned, 72% think the police has undertones of racism. No sector scored more than 50% in terms of being seen as either supportive or encouraging to ethnic minorities. And 22% have been offended by a racist remark in their current place of work.
Sandra Kerr, national director of Race for Opportunity (pictured), which is part of Business in the Community, said: “It is a sad fact of modern day Britain that the workplace is not as ethnically diverse as the society in which we live.
“Ethnic minority workers have high aspirations for finding and forging a sustainable career and they have a strong work ethic. But this is aspiration and execution seems to be frustrated at the office door.”
Kerr added: “In some professions there is a clear lack of role models while others are still saddled with a reputation for racism. Worst of all, as shown in this research, blatant and shocking racism still exists in parts of the world of work.”