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The Race and Gender Benchmarking Survey 2014 is now open for submissions

SurveyThe UK’s most comprehensive gender and race benchmark is a yearly assessment process that is free to members of the diversity campaigns, and offers varying participation costs to non members too with no cost attached for the
completion of Part 1.
Closing date: Thursday 17 July.
Find out more and how to enter on the Race for Opportunity website

Tackling inequality in recruitment, pay and promotion for women and black, Asian and other ethnic minority groups is a key issue that responsible businesses focus on.

  • Project 28-40: what 25,000 people told us about gender balance in the workplace

    Today we release the Project 28-40 Report which seeks to identify the hidden tensions within workplace cultures that may explain why UK employers are struggling to…

  • A business case for inclusion

    The growth of BAME groups in England and Wales emphasises the need to accelerate our efforts to ensure our workplaces are truly inclusive. Take a look at Race for Opportunity’s infographic.

  • Project 28-40: what 25,000 people told usabout gender balance in the workplace

    Today we release the Project 28-40 Report which seeks to identify the hidden tensions within workplace cultures that may explain why UK employers are struggling to…

The issue

Good employers value diversity. Individuals will perform at work to the best of their ability when their identity and the difference in contribution that may flow from that are valued. Diversity is good for business because a range of employees with a range of backgrounds will bring different ideas and enable an employer to appeal to different parts of the marketplace. This contributes to innovation and success.

In BITC we focus on specific aspects of campaigning on diversity, with the Opportunity Now campaign focussing on gender and Race for Opportunity campaigning on race equality. We have also undertaken work on migrant workers and religion and belief. We work with Stonewall’s employers forum on sexual orientation, with the Employers Forum on Disability and the Employers Forum on Age

The case for business involvement

To create a highly productive, profitable and successful business you have got to drive diversity and inclusion as a business case.

Diversity in the workplace refers to the protection, respect and inclusion of the individual attributes that each employee contributes. While companies initially paid the most attention to those characteristics that were protected by legislation (race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability) businesses are increasingly building company cultures that also respect life experiences, language, talents, skills, thought processes and personal styles.


Career progression should be based on merit. People from all backgrounds and walks of life should know that they will be able to progress in an organisation in line with their talents and commitment. Yet we know that the reality in the workplace is very different.

As Race for Opportunity showed as recently as 2009 in its report, Race to the Top , our British black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers are simply not gaining the share of management or senior level jobs that their population would justify. Understanding why this is the case will be a major step forward to ending this inequality.

Leadership – business leaders have a huge role to play in creating and reinforcing the business need for a diverse and inclusive workplace. The absence of ethnic minorities in UK Board rooms also needs addressing. The Cranfield FTSE 100 report (page 21) reveals that ethnic minority male and female directors make-up only 5.5% of all directors in FTSE 100 companies.

Transparency and fairness in recruitment practices and procedures. In 2007/08 two thirds of White students (66%) found full-time or part- time employment within a year of graduating compared with 56.3% of BAME graduates.

Progression – Less than 1 in 15 ethnic minority workers in the UK hold a management position and on current trends, they constitute an even greater percentage of the future and emerging workforce.

Ethnic minorities currently make up 11% of the UK working-age population,  1 in 4 pupils in primary school education in the UK are from an ethnic minority background. Britain’s current and future workforce is racially and culturally diverse and progressive employers recognise that it makes good business sense to understand, utilise and grow this pool of talent

What we ask of business

  • Increase ethnic diversity amongst senior leaders
  • Accelerate progression, and balance representation across the UK Workforce
  • Reduce black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) youth unemployment

What we offer business

  • Race for Opportunity materials and tools, research, resources, toolkits and best practice
  • Annual Benchmarking
  • Annual Awards
  • Events and peer learning


Gender equality is good for business. Diversity in the workplace means a diversity of ideas, skills and experiences that contribute to innovation and effective decision making. Retaining the best employees makes sense, especially where the organisation has invested in their skills and experience.

Diversity is good for business. It’s also the right thing to do – barriers to women’s progress in the workplace must be tackled if every individual is to have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

  • Women have to balance work and family: 82% of women recognise this as a barrier but just 54% of men
  • Women are seen as less committed to work because they often have family commitments: 57% of women recognise this as a barrier but just 20% of men
  • Lack of senior or visibly successful female role model: 52% of women recognise this as a barrier but just 26% of men
  • Stereotyping and preconceptions of women’s roles and abilities: 49% of women recognise this as a barrier but just 14% of men
  • Personal style differences: 48% of women recognise this as a barrier but just 21% of men

Opportunity Now is our campaigning membership organisation of employers who are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for women.

What we ask of business

  • Raise awareness and set targets
  • Ecourage leadership, recognise role models and offer mentors and sponsors
  • Provide women with a platform and voice
  • Beware hidden bias
  • Increase and mainstream agile and flexible working


What we offer business

  • Annual gender diversity benchmarking
  • Annual awards process together with The Times Top 50 Employers for Women.
  • Inspiring and informative events and networking opportunities.
  • Thought leadership – participating in research
  • Celebrating exceptional best practice
  • Online information and resources




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