Race in the workplace: The McGregor-Smith Review

Race in the WorkplaceOn Tuesday 28 February, Baroness Ruby McGregor Smith published her report ‘Race in the Workplace’. A summary of the findings can be found below:

14% of the working age population come from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background.

Companies should be looking at the make-up of the area in which they are recruiting to establish the right target, for example the proportion of working age people from a BME background in London is already over 40%.

Employers should publish their aspirational targets and be transparent about their progress and be accountable for delivering them. Government must legislate to make larger businesses to publish their ethnicity data by salary band to show progress – through publishing data the employers will be able to show their successes and encourage others to follow.

Need to consider every stage of the process, from how individuals are recruited to how they are supported to progress and fulfil their potential. Leaders need to take responsibility for creating truly inclusive workplaces. We already have many of the solutions to tackle this issue (role models, sponsorship, unconscious bias training, mentors etc.); it just needs to be applied more broadly.

BME people are faced with a distinct lack of role models.

The potential benefit to the UK economy from full representation of BME individuals across the labour market is estimated to be £24 billion a year, which represents 1.3% of GDP.


12.5% of the working population were from a BME background, yet BME individuals make up only 10% of the workforce and only hold 6% of top management positions.

The employment rate for ethnic minorities is 62.8% compared with an employment rate for White workers of 75.6%. This gap is even worse for some ethnic groups, for example, the employment rate for those from a Pakistani or Bangladeshi background is 54.9%

Unemployment rate for those from a BME background is 15.3% compared with 11.5% for White workers.

All BME groups are more likely to be overqualified than White ethnic groups but White employees are more likely to be promoted than all other group.

Read the full report HERE