Tesco, Rolls-Royce, Channel 4 and Network Rail were among the companies celebrated in the House of Commons for their achievements in progressing the Ethnicity Agenda.
The powerhouse brands were among 25 organisations acknowledged for things like their leadership and commitment to improving racial diversity while creating cultures and implementing inclusive policies that are beneficial to aiding ethnic minority representation.
The employers are deemed at the forefront of advancement surrounding the Ethnicity Agenda and were highlighted in the House of Commons alongside Dawn Butler MP.
The Labour MP said: “The writing is on the wall. Companies that put diversity front and centre perform better than those that do not. The Maturity Matrix gets companies talking about how to do just this and provides a blueprint for building a more inclusive and successful company.
“It was a pleasure to join with those companies in Parliament who have engaged with the Maturity Matrix and invested in ethnicity in the workplace.”
Lloyds Banking Group topped the list for the second year in a row.
Samantha Owo, who is Race Action Plan Lead for the company, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to win the Outstanding Employer Award, this means a lot to us and signals that we’re moving in the right direction to creating a truly inclusive workplace for everyone.
“At Lloyds Banking Group, inclusion and diversity has always been a priority for us, and our Race Action Plan is helping us to address the specific challenges we know our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic colleagues and customers are facing. We’ve come a long way since the plan launched and we know that we have much more to do but I’m confident that this will help us to create far-reaching and long-lasting change. A special thanks to all our colleagues for everything they do each day to make a difference.”
Metrics for recruitment, retention and progression, policies and data plus external impact are all scrutinised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Governance and Inclusive Leadership recommended ‘Investing in Ethnicity: Maturity Matrix’ help support organisations wanting to drive better representation and an even playing field for minority ethnic employees.
Founder, Sarah Garrett MBE said: “The Maturity Matrix is a tool that asks a series of questions about the organisation’s business practices in six key areas; leadership and commitment, policy and data, culture and inclusion, employee resource group plus employee life cycle and external impact.
“The Matrix uses answers to these questions to compare, rate and score an organisation’s current standing in progressing the Ethnicity Agenda while also providing business with practical and easy to follow suggestions around how to build a strategy to improve their inclusion efforts.
“It is then used as a benchmarking tool, allowing us to determine best practice and each organisation’s personal areas for improvement.”
A spotlight has been directly pointed at major organisations over the last few years for their lack of racial diversity, which is particularly evident at senior level, following widespread protests and momentum shifting movements. Indeed, according to the Office for National Statistics, Black people in the UK have the lowest percentage of workers in ‘manager, director or senior official’ roles – standing at less than 5%.
Now, the 25 companies being celebrated are making major steps to improve this and their policies are recognised as being at the forefront of successes in the Ethnicity Agenda.
Indeed, they have all made positive steps like heavy investment in network groups, training managers to recognise bullying and harassment related to culture, racism and ethnicity, breaking down pay gap reporting by ethnic heritage groups and sharing in detail, identifying ethnically diverse top talent and placing them on dedicated career or talent programmes plus public reporting on the progress of ethnicity plans.
However, results from the latest Maturity Matrix uncovered worrying trends showing some businesses have ignored recommendations like posing inclusion-related questions to managers in a standard interview, highlighting ethnicity news, publicly pledging to support diverse commitments in the UK and ensuring advertising materials contain ethnic representation.
Sarah Garrett MBE added: “When companies commit themselves to diversity, they are more likely to be triumphant. They are better able to recruit top talent, improve employee retention and satisfaction, progress decision making and successes while also advancing customer attitudes.
“We were honoured to celebrate the top performing 25 UK companies who are leading the way on this at the House of Commons.”
The top 25 UK employers are (in alphabetical order):
BP International Limited
British Telecommunications plc (BT Group)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Legal & General Investment Management Limited (LGIM)
Lloyds Banking Group
London South East Colleges
Macquarie Group Services
Moody’s Shared Services
National Grid House
Paramount Global (Viacom/C5)
Smith & Nephew
Tesco Stores Limited
UBS Global Wealth Management
University of Huddersfield
Whitbread Group PLC
According to organisations completing the Matrix:
- Over half (54%) of organisations are now voluntarily disclosing their Ethnicity Pay Gap figures in line with gender. This is up 13% since 2021, despite the Government not making this measure mandatory.
- 81% have an ethnicity strategy, which the board is held accountable for, and over three-quarters now publicly report on their ethnicity action plan, an increase from 53%.
- More than 50% have also developed allyship training with an ethnicity focus, and three-quarters have now reviewed their inclusion training to include ethnicity as a key focus.
- Recruitment measures include having job adverts to reflect all ethnic groups (95% completed up from 91% in 2021) and diverse interview panels (61% completed up from 41% in 2021). Meanwhile, 95% of organisations have a multicultural network group.