27 consulting firms sign Race at Work Charter

05 November 2020 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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An array of consulting firms have signed up to the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter, an initiative that aims to improve outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees in the UK. The charter aims to encourage a public pledge to improving outcomes of BAME employees in the workplace by tackling the barriers to recruitment and progression.

Founded nearly 40 years ago by The Prince of Wales, Business in the Community is the UK’s oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. Each year, this sees the organisation name a number of entities as the top employers for different social demographics, including gender and race.

One of the major movements of 2020 has been Black Lives Matter, whose protests at police brutality aimed at People of Colour across the world have inspired mounting calls for change in every other walk of life. As Business in the Community looks to foster racial equality in Britain’s workplaces, it has been promoting a charter, challenging signatories to improve their diversity and inclusion efforts.

27 consulting firms sign Race at Work Charter

Having opened for early signatories in 2017, the Race At Work Charter calls upon businesses to make a number of commitments, including appointing an Executive Sponsor for Race – who can drive key actions such as setting targets for ethnic minority representation – as well as capturing ethnicity data to publicise shortcomings and progress, such as with an ethnic pay gap. At the same time, it demands that firms work to support ethnic minority career progression – not only via mentoring and sponsorship, but also expecting signatories to commit to “zero tolerance of harassment and bullying.”

While this last goal might seem like something firms are already expected to keep to, the Race at Work Survey recently revealed that 25% of ethnic minority employees reported that they had witnessed or experienced racial harassment or bullying from managers. In order to counteract this alarming fact, commitment from the top is needed to achieve change – so the charter also asks that signatories make it clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders and managers.

Speaking when Atos became an early signatory of the charter in 2018, Kulveer Ranger, Vice President for Strategy & Communications UK&I, said, “We are proud to be an early signatory of the Race at Work Charter, a new initiative designed to tackle racial barriers in the workplace and which recognises our public commitment to improving outcomes for BAME employees in the UK.”

Since then, a total of 27 further consultancies have signed the charter. Along with the Big Four of PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY, and top MBB strategy firm Bain & Company, this also includes British based companies such as Arup, Baringa Partners and Bramwith Consulting. One of the charter’s most recent signatories from the industry is Mercer, which announced its support in October 2020.

Sylvia Pozezanac, Mercer’s UK CEO remarked, “At Mercer we understand and recognise the importance of a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. We are dedicated to ensuring all our employees are supported equally and all are offered every opportunity to excel in their career. We are proud to show our commitment to supporting the development and progression of our racial and ethnically diverse employees and increasing public awareness of these barriers by signing the Race at Work Charter.”

An overview of the consulting firms that signed the Race at Work Charter:

Grant Thornton
BCS Consulting
Bramwith Consulting
SLR Consulting
Sopra Steria
Mott MacDonald
YSC Consulting
FDM Group
Avanade (subsidiary of Accenture)
Bain & Company
Baringa Partners