While it is felt that this is widely understood across the Group, the proportion of our workforce that identify as Black, Asian and minority ethnic does not reflect the wider community with 12% of our workforce identifying as Black, Asian and minority ethnic, compared to communities in which we work such as : Greater Manchester = 16.4%, Lancashire = 8.9%, Sheffield City Region = 7.5% and Liverpool City Region = 4.2%. Importantly, whilst we have taken a range of actions our figure has not moved in the last 3 years even though we have seen significant employee changes over the period. We have replaced like for like. As such, it is evident that the approaches taken to date have not worked, at least to the extent necessary to address the scale of the challenge we face. Accepting this is the first step to addressing it.
At the Growth Company we are committed to change and through our EDI group have developed a set of pledges setting out greater actions that we hope will lead to positive change:
1) We will continue to share the proportion of our workforce that identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic yearly, so we can be held accountable to our progress as part of our annual diversity report.
2) We will sign up to the Race at Work Charter.
3) We will implement anti-racism awareness workshops for all colleagues.
4) We will broaden the channels we advertise our GC vacancies to ensure Black, Asian and minority ethnic networks and communities are included and where appropriate will target specific channels for example business networks for the demographic we are targeting to raise the profile of our commitment to attracting a diverse workforce.
5) We have added a statement on all adverts outlining that we are committed to attracting more applications from the Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
6) We will create inclusive networks to help shape our EDI strategy.
7) We will review our policies to make it clear we have zero tolerance with any form of discrimination including our whistleblowing policy to encourage individuals to report direct and non-direct discrimination so this can be acted upon accordingly.
8) We will engage with colleagues so that they feel comfortable to share experiences, insight and have open discussions.
9) We will create a mentoring programme for those colleagues who identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic including the use of external mentors to provide this support.
10) We will implement a ‘reverse mentoring’ approach, whereby willing individuals from different backgrounds offer one-to-one sessions with senior colleagues to enable them to have a deeper insight on themes such as language and culture and offer more insight into the barriers affecting progression.
We have appointed a Senior Management Team sponsor, Carla Nuttall, Marketing and Communications Director, who with the support of our Board sponsor, Vanda Murray, will drive forward our actions and ensure that we achieve progress. BAME stands for Black, Asian and minority ethnic and is defined as all ethnic groups except White ethnic group. The term minority ethnic refers to a group of people of a particular race or nationality living in a country or area where most people are from a different race or nationality. We will ensure that any changes are reflective of each of the separate communities which are sometimes grouped together as BAME, as we recognise that each of these communities face different challenges.
We will continue to work with the EDI group and the HR team to create a more diverse and inclusive culture, with some clearly laid out plans for the longer term.