Staff say diverse management makes organisations better places to work
British companies have failed to significantly hire and promote more Black senior leaders in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, according to a new study.
In a poll of 2,000 professional office workers, 70% said that work to address racism in the workplace since the 2020 killing, which sparked a global wave of anti-racism protests, had begun in their organisations.
But despite the outpouring of corporate activism, with many companies posting black squares in solidarity, nearly 70% of those quizzed said their firms had not increased the number of Black, Asian or ethnic minority leaders.
According to research commissioned by leading recruitment company, Zyna Search, nearly 65% or respondents felt their companies would benefit from having a more racially diverse leadership team.
Staff also felt they had benefited from diversity training with 65% of participants saying such schemes worked and would like to see more. The research, carried out by insights agency, Perspectus Global, also found that over two thirds of Black respondents said the racial diversity of a company would impact whether they applied to work there.
In the study, which also looked at the experiences of Black, Asian and ethnic minorities in the workplace, it emerged that:
● 57% of Black staff felt they had been passed over for promotion compared to 34% white
● 59% of Black staff felt the decision was based on the colour of their skin
● 55% of Black staff said they had applied for a promotion that went to a white colleague.
● 60% of Black staff felt they had to “code switch” ie adjust their language or change aspects of their appearance at work
● 75% of Black staff said that they are generally underrepresented in the workforce
● 46% of Black staff had to anglicise their names to make it easier for colleagues to pronounce
In addition 56.6% of Black respondents said they were satisfied with their current role compared to 79.5% of the general respondents.
Diversity training also received the thumbs up from respondents with two thirds of general respondents and 74% of Black respondents saying that it works.
Marcus Whyte, Founder of Zyna Search said: “It’s a positive sign that work to address racism in the workplace had begun in offices across the country but the report shows more work still needs to happen especially in terms of senior leaders and those with influence and power in the workplace.
So many companies pledged to do better on diversity after George Floyd’s killing. But if we look at the FTSE 100 today, there are no Black CEOs or chairpersons. What I would like to see is meaningful and measurable progress with Black, Asian and ethnically diverse employees represented at all levels of businesses.
“It is also significant that it is important to Black employees to see representation. We know diverse organisations make sound business sense as it drives competitive advantage and ultimately performance and revenue. In a labour market that is fighting for top talent there is a huge opportunity for diverse organisations to steal a march and appeal to different and broader talent pools.”
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Zyna is a leading executive search company dedicated to promoting diversity and equality in the workplace. With a focus on helping organisations build diverse teams and foster inclusive cultures, Zyna provides strategic talent solutions and diversity consulting services.