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Firms are showing a worrying lack of urgency on improving diversity and inclusion

FIRMS are showing a worrying lack of urgency on improving diversity and inclusion, a new study suggests.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) survey found that just under one in three companies are focusing more on increasing the diversity of their workforce.

And almost half of workers polled by the REC said that the recruitment process was not inclusive for people like them.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This pandemic has held up a mirror to the structural racism in our labour market.

“Too many black and minority ethnic (BME) workers are trapped in low-paid, insecure jobs that have put them at greater risk from Covid-19. 

“We need a lot more than one in three companies taking diversity seriously to achieve equality. This underlines exactly why the government must step in.

“Ministers must introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting and make employers publish action plans to ensure fair treatment for BME workers in the workplace.”

Black Activists Rising Against Cuts co-chairwoman Zita Holbourne said: “There is a largely tick-box attitude towards equality and a worrying trend of only looking at diversity and inclusion — not equality. 

“By failing to address discrimination employers are losing out on the best candidates, talents and skills. 

“This [disproportionately affects] — socially and economically — those most likely to face discrimination. In turn, less equal workforces will not attract a diverse range of candidates.

“The pandemic’s amplifying of existing inequality and discrimination is even more of a reason why employers must take equality seriously, with zero tolerance of discrimination.”

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