Just half of firms using recruitment to boost diversity, poll shows

Not enough organisations are ‘taking action’, says CMI, renewing calls for mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting

Less than half of businesses are taking steps to improve diversity through their recruitment practices, a poll of managers has found.

The survey of managers, conducted by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), found that just 47 per cent said their organisations were taking active steps to increase the proportion of employees from diverse ethnic groups through their recruitment practices.

The same poll found that 43 per cent of managers reported their senior management teams had no staff from diverse ethnic groups.

Similarly, only a third (33 per cent) said their organisations were taking at least one measure in relation to reporting their ethnicity pay gap or enacting an ethnicity pay gap action plan.

The research polled 857 managers during the first two weeks of October.

Ann Francke, chief executive of the CMI, said that while there had been positive changes to the world of work over the last year, progress on diversity remained “far too slow”.

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“Our new research makes it clear that not enough organisations are taking action to enhance diversity, whether through recruitment or training,” she said.

The CMI has renewed calls for the government to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for larger firms, similar to the current rules for gender pay reporting.

Since 2017, firms that employ 250 or more people have been required to report their gender pay gap data, including median pay gap, mean pay gaps and bonus gaps.

“The government has quite rightly mandated gender pay gap reporting for large organisations. There is no excuse for not introducing similar requirements around the ethnicity pay gap,” said Francke.

“The evidence is clear: businesses that are truly more inclusive and representative are more productive organisations… We’re certain that the government’s ambition of building back better will ring hollow if the ethnicity pay gap continues to be ignored.”

Earlier this year, the CIPD called for ethnicity pay reporting to be made mandatory by 2023, and also released guidance to help employers measure and report their ethnicity pay gap in the absence of legislation.

“Ethnicity pay reporting is an important lever for businesses and their stakeholders to assess if and where inequality based on ethnicity exists in their workforce,” said Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, at the time, “That’s why we believe it is so important that businesses both capture and learn from this data.”