South: Law firm signs up for BAME initiative

Business in the Community (BITC) in partnership with the government has announced that Blake Morgan has signed up to the Race at Work Charter, an initiative designed to improve outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees in the UK.

The charter builds on the work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, ‘Race in the workplace’, a wake-up call for UK employers, which found that people from BAME backgrounds were still under-employed, under-promoted and under-represented at senior levels. So far more than 200 public, private and charitable organisations have signed up to the charter.

The Race at Work Charter is designed to foster a public commitment to improving outcomes of BAME employees in the workplace. It consists of five principles to ensure organisations address the barriers to BAME recruitment and progression. Organisations that sign up to the charter such as Blake Morgan are publicly committing to:

  • Appointing an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capturing data and publicising progress
  • Ensuring zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Taking action that supports ethnic minority career progression

The 2018 Race at Work Scorecard report by BITC showed that there is still a need for concerted and consistent action from employers across the UK to improve outcomes for BAME employees. The report showed:

  • There has been an increase in the number of workers from BAME background who report that they have witnessed or experienced racist harassment or bullying from customers or service users.
  • Despite being ambitious, over half of BAME employees still believe they will have to leave their current organisation to progress their career.
  • The proportion of managers who report that they have a performance objective to promote equality at work has fallen from 41% in 2015 to 32% in 2018.
  • Most significantly, employees have not reported any increase in the number of leaders demonstrating commitment and taking action since 2015.

Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community, said: “We would like to thank Blake Morgan for setting out their commitment to being an inclusive and responsible employer. By signing up to the charter they are showing that they aspire to have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the country. Together we can break down barriers in the workplace, raise the aspirations and achievements of talented individuals, and deliver an enormous boost to the long-term economic position of the UK.”

Rajiv Joshi, partner and Ethnicity & Belief Inclusion champion at Blake Morgan, said: “Blake Morgan is delighted to be a signatory to the Race at Work Charter. We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace where all our colleagues can be themselves and thrive. It has never been more important for responsible employers to work collectively and collaboratively to promote the benefits of inclusion and help to remove any barriers which prevent true equality for all. We know there is still much work to be done but we are committed to playing our part.”