The McGregor-Smith Review: Steps each employer should take

The McGregor-Smith Review: Steps each employer should take

Following the Davies Review for gender diversity and the Parker Review for BAME representation in the boardroom, the McGregor-Smith Review which was launched earlier this year highlights the business, and moral, case for BAME inclusion and progression in the workplace.

The review notes that one in eight of UK’s working population identify as being from a BAME background. However, these individuals represent only 10% of the workforce and 6% of top management positions. By 2051, it is expected that 21% of the working population will identify as BAME. In particular, it was noted that the potential benefit to the UK economy from full representation of BAME individuals across the labour market, through improved participation and progression, is estimated to be £24 billion a year (representing 1.3% of GDP).  This is a significant amount.

The report encourages businesses to take the following steps:

  • gather their diversity statistics and publish their data with aspirational targets;
  • take responsibility and embed diversity as a key performance indicator of the business, and ensure executive sponsorship for key targets;
  • raise awareness and provide sponsorship and mentorship;
  • examine recruitment processes; and
  • change processes to encourage greater diversity.

Our Co-Chair Siddhartha Shukla with Ruby McGregor-Smith at the launch

To assist this, the government will review progress over this year to consider whether legislating on any of the report’s recommendations will be required. Furthermore, Business in the Community is launching a top 100 BME employers list next year which businesses across the country will be applying for.

Business Minister Margot James has written to the chief executives of all FTSE 350 companies urging them to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She called on the UK’s largest companies to take up key recommendations from the review, including:

  • publishing a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay;
  • setting aspirational targets; and
  • nominating a board member to deliver on those targets.

Naveen Kler, a NOTICED’s committee member and a corporate associate at Herbert Smith Freehills who attended the launch commented, “The McGregor-Smith Review is definitely a step in the right direction to ensure that the UK’s workforce represents the best individuals and the demographic of our population. Following the review, companies will hopefully start to focus more on BAME recruitment (and progression) using the helpful guidance and steps outlined in the review“.

Please see here a link to the McGregor-Smith Review and the government’s response.

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