New report reveals 'alarmingly high levels of concern' about the impact of racism in the workplace

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

New report reveals 'alarmingly high levels of concern' about the impact of racism in the workplace

Related tags: Be Inclusive Hospitality, Racism, Lorraine Copes, Discrimination, Hospitality

More than a third of black and mixed ethnicity hospitality workers have experienced or witnessed racism in their current place of work, according to a new report.

The Inside Hospitality, commissioned by Be Inclusive Hospitality​, has found what it says is worryingly high levels of concern about the impact of racism in the workplace.

The research of 1,016 people working at all levels across the UK hospitality sector, found that 28% of Asian, 37% of black and 39% of mixed ethnicity respondents have experienced or witnessed racism at work.

Among those respondents who have witnessed or experienced racism; only 23% Asian, 16% black and 12% of mixed respondents have been offered wellbeing support, including mental health or otherwise. 

The report also found that Asian and black senior leaders feel unsupported by their employers regarding career progression compared to their peers. Only 38% of Asian senior leaders and 39% of black senior leaders felt they were ‘very well’ or ‘well’ supported compared to 65% of white senior leaders.    

Black respondents, at 43%, are most likely to report that ethnicity has hindered career progression. Asian (37%) and mixed (28%) respondents reported the same. In contrast, just 7% of white respondents believe this.

Overall, respondents were very positive about the sector, with the majority believing it offered good career opportunities, that employers were fair and there were high levels of confidence that employers could create a diverse and inclusive workplace.

However, when comparing perceptions of the industry with access to career development and feelings of support, the report says that it is often those from black, Asian, or ethnic minority backgrounds who have less access and feel less supported when compared to their white counterparts.

"The time is now for the hospitality industry to stop and consider if it wants to be a sector where all employees and businesses can develop and build successful futures,” says Lorraine Copes, founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality.

“Sadly, the findings confirm what I have observed over the past 20 years, which is there are barriers for progression for black, Asian and ethnic minorities to move upwards, and sector leaders should act now to remove them"

This the second edition of the Inside Hospitality report, which was first published in June 2021 and which captured 387 responses. While the 2021 report also raised concerns over issues of racism and barriers to career progression for those from underrepresented groups, due to a significant difference in data composition a direct comparison has not been made with this year’s report.

Be Inclusive Hospitality is a not-for-profit organisation set up to build a thriving community to accelerate race equity within hospitality, food, and drink.

Since inception, it has facilitated workshops to more than 500 hospitality leaders and delivered professional development and well-being initiatives positively benefiting close to 400 black, Asian and ethnic minorities throughout the hospitality sector.

To download the free report click here​.

Related topics: Trends & Reports



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