Racism in the Workplace has a long way still to go

A research conducted by Professor Anthony Heath of Nuffield College in Oxford has found out that a significant number of minority ethnic applicants send out 60% more resumes to even get a call for job interview. The research results have been compared with data that dates back to 1967. The research excluding factors, like education and experience when it comes to disparity in call back rates. The bias is not unconscious. If the resume of an ethnic person is not considered for job if he, or she, matches all relevant eligibility criteria, or is equally qualified as a non ethnic applicant, it is a case of racial discrimination.

It was not an unrealistic expectation to see racial discrimination disappear in a timespan of over five decades. Whilst, there has been a severe generational change, change in people’s attitudes, legislations regarding race relations and more importantly more than four million people from ethnic backgrounds being born in UK.

Statistically, in spite of all this cultural evolution, discrimination in the workplace has not significantly reduced.

The implications of the research were more so in the workforce. Consider the implications, if it is so difficult to get a call for a job interview only due to your name, how will ethnic applicants ever manage to land a job? Will employers change their attitudes and start treating applicants fairly at time of hiring, appraisal, salary reviews as well as disciplinary actions? In accordance with Equality Act 2010 it should be a given.

The solution?

Introducing name blind CVs in order to cut down on discrimination based application process is a good idea. However, according to reports, this solution is not completely effective and doesn’t filter discrimination out entirely.

Racial discrimination can only be eradicated by adopting different approaches and disincentives. There is a lot of scope for strengthening the powers of Equality and Human Rights Commission, which can foster existing race relations and enforce equality law.

A review commissioned by government has brought to light that currently the country pays £24bn a year and £3,000 per BME person in UK.

While it is important to collect data, evidence alone is not enough. The data should lead to employers adopting tougher measures, better targets for hiring and promoting.

Internally, checking how a manager progresses BME staff at the time of appraisal.

Instead of asking how an individual can change to fit into an organisation, the organisation should adapt in order to provide an atmosphere of equality for all employees.

If you think that your organisation suffers from endemic, institutionalised racism and you are discriminated against as a result of it, our Employment Law Solicitors can assist with all types of claims. Naturally, we pride ourselves on providing the best possible service to the highest standards, we can provide free employment law advice on all problems.

Call us on 0800 756 6605 or 020 3923 4777