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Race Equality Week calls for workplace action across the UK

 February 01, 2022

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Individuals and employers across the UK take part annually in Race Equality Week which takes place in early February.

The week reinforces the need for unity and collaborative action for addressing racial equality barriers in the workplace. 

The 2022 theme of #ActionNotJustWords highlights the importance of deeds and impact over rhetoric.

Heightening consciousness of race inequality 

Encouraging a continuation of targeted activity all year-round, Race Equality Week reminds us that the events of 2020, including the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minority communities, has thankfully helped heightened public consciousness about race inequality.

Race Equality Week combines conscious allyship with a strong peer network.

Race Equality Matters who deliver the Race Equality Week initiative state that normal is:

  • 75% of ethnic minorities experiencing racism in the workplace
  • a third of FTSE 100 companies having no ethnic minority board members
  • graduates from minority backgrounds being twice as likely to be unemployed
  • not good enough

So we all have a unique opportunity for real change and to advocate that race equality matters.

Driving impact on positive change 

In 2021, some 2,000 organisations participated in Race Equality Week so the aim now is to double the number of entities and people participating to create an even bigger impact on forging positive change. 

"As Lord Mayor of the City of London, diversity and inclusion was at the heart of my role," explains former Mayor of London, Dame Fiona Woolf DBE, DL.

"I'm glad to say that we have seen some progress, particularly on gender and LGBTQ+. But we know there is much more we need to do, especially on race. Race Equality Week, such a simple but brilliant concept, provides everyone with the perfect opportunity to keep the momentum for change going, and even accelerate." 

Elevating workplace action 

There are numerous ways employees, employers and individuals can get involved, including: 

  • the big promise
    - individuals and/or organisations make a public commitment, which is measurable and to which they will be held accountable, to create a positive change. Choose from seven meaningful actions devised by the ethnic minority community; forming a bridge between lived experience, investment and decision-making
  • virtual badge
    - devised by the creator of the Green Ribbon Mental Health Campaign, showcase visible support for race equality by displaying the Race Equality Week badge on your social media profiles and marketing materials
  • safe space
    - Safe Space will provide a protected environment to enable brave conversations, which may otherwise be avoided as too uncomfortable, in order to generate action-focussed, meaningful and tailored outcomes, driven by the people they matter to. Supported by the Race Equality Network, Safe Space will help achieve facilitated meaningful dialogue between ethnic minority employees and their senior leaders and/or board members, whom must be willing to make a commitment and take action to address some of the key issues raised
  • tea break
    - the Tea Break methodology enables courageous conversations. Evidence shows that within the hour, what colleagues are thinking and how they are feeling will become apparent. This gives the organisation and its senior management insights and the opportunity to address concerns and issues that are being shared

Learn more about Race Equality Week and how you can take part. 

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