Focus on leadership

We are focussing on leadership and its vital role in creating diverse and inclusive organisations.

We will examine how societal and structural racism continues to impact on BAME employee progression. We will also focus on the business case for inclusion and focus on the role of leadership in breaking down the barriers that currently exist.

The resources are designed to provide an insight into the issues that BAME employees face but will also provide some tangible solutions that can be readily employed to overcome them.

The Chartered Institute for Personnel Development Recommendations for employers

  1. Understand what is happening in your organisation: An evidence-based approach to identifying the structural and cultural barriers which are maintaining workplace inequalities is the first step, as issues and appropriate solutions will differ between organisations. Be aware that the term BAME encompasses people from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and traditions and avoid sweeping generalisations.
  2. Be aware of intersectionality and examine progression barriers through multiple lenses: Intersectionality refers to the fact we have multiple identities and they overlap. We need to be aware of the potential interplay of overlapping identities. For example, does being a woman from an ethnic minority background mean you have more equal opportunities through progress on gender, but are still at a disadvantage at work due to being from a minority ethnic group? In short, we still don’t understand enough about intersectionality and this is clearly an area where more research is needed to inform practice. 
  3. Critically appraise your organisation culture: HR policies and processes that promote diversity and inclusion can set expectation. However, policies alone won’t bring about change. They need to be brought alive by the behaviour of everyone in the business. Raising awareness of different cultures, background and circumstance can help people understand and appreciate difference. And having role models from a range of different backgrounds, and at different levels in the organisation, signals that diversity is valued.
  4. Actively encourage employee voice to inform change: It’s essential that disadvantaged and disconnected groups have access to mechanisms through which they can express their voice. Employee resource groups (ERGs) can be a useful mechanism for employee voice and through working closely with them HR can ensure the people management approach is as inclusive as possible.
  5. Address unconscious bias: It goes without saying that we need to continue to tackle overt discrimination head-on. In addition, unconscious bias is one of the main barriers to equality of opportunity that needs to be addressed.
Page updated: 24/09/2021 Page updated by: Gloucestershire County Council

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