British businesses have been urged to publish breakdowns of their black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees, in a new report.
In a bid to improve diversity, professional management body the CMI and the British Academy of Management conducted a report that focuses on ethnic diversity at management levels.
The report also highlights the importance of diversity following the Brexit vote.
It sets out a seven-point plan for business leaders to take on, including “breaking the silence” on diversity. It also details providing diversity training as a requirement, and setting targets for progression of BAME employees.
CMI’s report also found that managers were nervous to talk about race and ethnicity for fear of causing offence.
Currently, 21per cent of companies surveyed by the CMI and BAM report publicly on BAME, compared to 71 per cent who report on gender diversity.
Their report suggested that the recent focus on gender pay reporting had hindered the progression of BAME representation.
It concluded that mentoring should also be available at all levels of the business, to all employees.
One respondent in the report said:
“The lack of BAME people in my company makes me feel ashamed. It is inexplicable unless you accept there must be discrimination in our culture.”
The report is backed up by data published in February by Ruby McGregor-Smith, a businesswoman who said that that £24bn could be added to to UK economy each year if BAME candidates could progress in their careers as quickly as their white counterparts.
12.5% of the UK population are BAME but they hold just 6% of top management jobs.
In a joint statement, CMI chief executive Ann Francke and BAM president Professor Sir Cary Cooper commented:
“While uncertainty persists about the outcome of negotiations with the EU, employers in all sectors have to face up to the prospect of reduced access to overseas talent.
“That makes it imperative that we think about how we can do better at making the the most of everyone’s abilities.”