British businesses must break their “silence” on the under-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) in key roles, according to new research commissioned by the British Academy of Management (BAM) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and co-authored by expert researchers at leading UK universities. The research team consists of Professor Nic Beech (University of Dundee), Professor Nelarine Cornelius and Professor Geraldine Healy (Queen Mary, University of London), Professor Uduak Archibong (University of Bradford), Dr Lisi Gordon and Dr Gurchathen Sanghera (University of St Andrews), Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna (Cardiff University), Chidozie Umeh (Queen Mary, University of London) and Dr James Wallace (University of Bradford). The academic foundation of the report draws from Equality, Diversity and Inclusion research. Dialogue needed from academic research community.
The report, which looks at Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) leadership in the FTSE 100 was launched on the 19th July 2017 at the House of Commons. The report emphasises that BAME people are under-represented in business and especially in management roles
Delivering Diversity, highlights the everyday challenges facing BAME managers, how BAME issues are represented and managed by FTSE companies, and the recommendations the research team identified as the main policy changes to be made by companies and government. The report highlights practical steps that companies can take immediately and in the medium term to develop truly adaptive cultures, fit for purpose in times of political, economic and social challenge.
The report highlights seven steps for action:
Break the silence. Leaders need to re-boot the conversation on race, show commitment and communicate a clear business case for change to deliver diversity.
Learn from the gender agenda. Business has shown that it can generate momentum to make change happen, with inclusive leadership at all levels and transparency about strategies, targets and progress
Face the numbers: measure it, manage it, report it. Companies need to measure BAME diversity at every level of the management pipeline.
Tap into the power of sponsorship. Senior leaders need to actively seek out and meet diverse emerging leaders to sponsor them and support their development.
Build diversity through ‘next up’ leadership. Role models and mentors at the next level up – not just remote role models at the top of business – can be powerful forces for change. Use innovative models like mentoring circles and reverse mentoring
Be inclusive and adaptive. Build adaptive cultures that respond to the differences people bring to work. Make it clear that the company values difference so no minority employee is left questioning whether they fit in.
Benchmark and collaborate. Businesses should compare performance with others in their sector and collaborate on ways to accelerate change.
The Executive Summary and the Full Report can be accessed via the following links: