Your Leadership Isn’t Diverse, And It’s A Huge Problem For Black Professionals

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Black professionals deserve more leadership roles

Since the number of Black professionals in corporate leadership roles hasn’t budged since 2014, UK employers have been asked to put more effort into inclusion. Businesses have repeatedly demonstrated that those with a diversified workforce perform the best. However,  corporate companies in the UK are struggling to achieve a diverse and inclusive working environment. 

Research has found that only 1.5 percent of management roles in business are held by Black professionals. There has been little to no progress since 2014. Despite corporate talks to improve inclusion and diversity, Black professionals are left on the back burner regarding management roles. It’s quite disturbing that nearly half of FTSE-100  (100 largest companies on London’s Stock exchange) have no Black chairman or CEO.

The number of Black CEOs at FTSE 100 businesses has halted and decreased to zero. In contrast, the numbers of the majority of other minority ethnic groups in these top positions have climbed slightly.

Impact of lack of diversity on Black professionals

With employees less able to advance through the ranks on a fair and non-discriminatory basis, UK employers lag far behind in providing a diversified workforce.

Lack of fairness

A clear indication of the absence of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace is a lack of fairness. A survey reveals that a majority of employees who identify as ethnic minorities have encountered racial harassment at work during the past five years, as well as unjust treatment on the part of their employer. Thirty-five percent of Black professionals who worked in children’s social services reported that they lacked fair and equal opportunities, and 75 percent claimed that their ethnicity had impeded their ability to advance in their careers.

Lack of upward mobility within company

Top talent tends to be drawn to and retained by businesses that foster a welcoming and inclusive work environment. The term “upward mobility” describes a person’s capacity to advance in their professions, whether that involves picking up desirable skills or reaching a certain position within the organisational structure. Despite the large percentage of Black professionals wanting to progress in their careers, only a few succeed. 

Burnout, feelings of isolation, and depression

Employees develop a sense of belonging in a diverse and welcoming atmosphere. Black professionals are already marginalised and suffer much isolation in non-diverse environments. This loneliness not only impacts the individual employee but also reflects a setting devoid of allies, friends, and proper support, adding to mental and emotional pain and possibly destroying any rungs on the ladder to success.

Racism in the workplace can be controlled through inclusiveness and diversity training, whether subtly or loudly shown. Inclusion and diversity training at work can help address how individuals think by educating coworkers on what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour and how offensive language and actions can be. Also, directors and executives must step up their hiring practices and broaden the range of diverse applicants they consider.

Corporate allyship  

With the UK celebrating Black History Month this October, now is a time for organisations to take inclusion seriously. Your company’s inclusive culture and diverse team can help you attract new talent. It also aids in keeping your present talent. When employees feel safe, they are more likely to work harder and more intelligently, resulting in higher-quality work.

With more than 150K members, BYP provides exclusive access to talented Black professionals worldwide. Our annual Leadership Conference, ‘Knowledge is Power’ is one of our most sought-after events, where you have the opportunity to stand with Black professional leaders of the future who can make a difference in your company. 

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