Government-backed review calls for firms to publish a breakdown of their workforce

Baroness McGregor-SmithThe report by Baroness McGregor-Smith said the economy could receive a £24bn annual boost if businesses stamped out ethnic inequality. It found that people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds were still often disadvantaged at work.

But the government has ruled out legislation on such a breakdown, opting for a voluntary approach instead. The review found that employment rates amongst people from BME backgrounds were 12% lower than for white counterparts.

One of her main recommendations was legislation to make firms with more than 50 workers publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and by how much they are paid. The report stated that firms should draw up five-year diversity targets and nominate a board member to deliver them. Baroness McGregor-Smith wants to see diversity as part of public procurement guidelines and her report claims that tackling barriers to progression could boost GDP by 1.3%.

The report also highlighted unconscious bias as being more pervasive. Only 74 FTSE 100 companies replied to her call for data for the report. Last year the Equality and Human Rights Commission said that the life chances for young minority ethnic people were “the most challenging for generations”.

To read the full report, click here