Managers lack training in diversity & inclusion

Many managers have not received any Diversity & Inclusion training, according to a survey from the Chartered Management Institute.

BAME

 

Nearly two thirds of managers have either never received training on managing diversity and inclusion in the workplace or have received no training in the last 12 months, according to a survey by the Chartered Management Institute.

The Manager’s Voice survey of nearly 950 managers also found:

  • only half (52%) of junior managers are very confident in challenging discriminatory language in the workplace, compared to three quarters (76%) of directors;
  • just over half (54%) of black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) managers think mentoring and sponsorship is important to a great extent, compared to around a third (36%) of white managers; and.
  • half (50%) of BAME managers were anticipating a promotion in 2019, compared to just over a third (38%) of white managers.

CMI’s CEO Ann Francke said the survey results highlight the critical role of line managers in delivering diversity and inclusion.

The survey comes the same day as the CMI published its response to the Government consultation on ethnicity pay reporting which ends today. The CMI calls on the Government to introduce ethnicity pay reporting as soon as possible and says closing the pay gap involves building the pipeline of BAME talent and helping more talented BAME men and women into senior management and leadership roles.

Role models

The CMI has also issued an in-depth report on diversity which shows only 54% of HR/diversity managers see their business leaders championing BAME diversity and 42% say that the prioritisation of gender has become a barrier to progress on BAME.

The report says only 21% of companies surveyed for the report communicate their figures on BAME publicly, compared to 71% on gender diversity and 83% of the HR/diversity leaders surveyed say they need better data to drive progress on race and ethnicity, despite reluctance from some employees to share personal information.

It calls for more mentoring and sponsorship of BAME employees, including the use of mentoring circles and reverse mentoring, for a greater use of role models and for better data on which to measure success.

Many BAME managers surveyed questioned the perceived ‘fit’ for BAME employees in their businesses, pointing to norms that favour what one interviewee called “white middle class men from elite schools and universities”. The report says companies need to bridge this gap, tackling outdated cultures and to show a more diverse ‘public face’ in company websites and annual reports.

The report also calls on employers to identify best practice on diversity and use it to inform their approach, to support BAME networks to voice BAME employees’ views and to build line managers’ capacity to deliver diversity and make it OK to be curious and ask questions. It makes the point that many managers feel uncomfortable discussing diversity and are wary of causing offence.

Other recommendations include a call for employers to define a plan for change, to be transparent about their inclusion strategies, targets and progress and to address bias.

The report is based on roundtable discussions, a literature review, interviews with managers, analysis of public policies, case studies of seven companies and an online survey of HR or Diversity & Inclusion leads.

Meanwhile, a poll of MPs by the Association of Accounting Technicians found more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of MPs believe reporting requirements on gender, ethnicity and executive pay are a “good start” but feel “much more needs to be done”. The poll also showed almost a quarter (23 per cent) of parliamentarians strongly agreed with this sentiment, while a further 46 per cent agreed. Only 13 per cent either disagreed or strongly disagreed.

The Institute of Employment Studies warned that any new policy should acknowledge the differences between gender and ethnicity pay monitoring. Duncan Brown, IES head of HR consultancy, said: “There are significant potential benefits for the UK economy, society, employers and employees from the introduction of mandatory ethnicity employment and pay gap information.

“The success of gender pay reporting is promising, though it is important that the government recognises the particular challenges of reporting on ethnicity pay, namely cultural barriers and the practicalities of data collection. Whereas most employers already held data on gender when the reporting requirement was introduced, this is not the case with ethnicity. Employers will need, and should be afforded, more time and support to meet this requirement. We suggest a phased implementation, similar to that which supported the successful implementation of pensions’ auto enrolment.”



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