Business in the Community (BITC) is pleased to announce that Coventry City Council has signed up to the Race at Work Charter.

The Charter is an initiative designed for businesses to collectively commit to improving equal opportunities for Black, Asian, Mixed Race and ethnically diverse employees in the UK.

Launched in 2018, the Race at Work Charter builds on the work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, which found that people from Black, Asian, Mixed Race and ethnically diverse backgrounds are still underemployed, underpromoted and under-represented at senior levels.

The Race at Work Charter calls on businesses to:

  • Appoint an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capture data and publicising progress
  • Ensure zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Make equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression
  • Support race inclusion allies in the workplace
  • Include Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse-led enterprise owners in supply chains

Cllr Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council, and Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities, said: “We are one of the city’s largest employers and we want to inspire our partners and other organisations across the city and the region. We also want to show those we work with that everyone here is treated equally and treated with respect.

“Over the years we have seen how diversity has helped to make us stronger, and I have been proud to see developments such as our People Plan that sets out how we will create a supportive culture that ‘values and embraces difference’, and our Values, which show our commitment to putting diversity and inclusion at the heart of all we do.

“Our workforce has to truly reflect the city we serve, and this shows our dedication to achieving that goal.”

Julie Nugent, Chief Executive, said: “Coventry City Council is committed to being an equal and inclusive workplace, and signing the Charter is an important step in that work.

“There has been great progress lately, with talent development programmes such as ‘Ignite’ and ‘I Will Accelerate’. We want to keep up that development and continue our work to make sure that every single colleague feels comfortable and welcome in the workplace and knows they are able to build their careers with us, and we want to inspire other employers to do the same.

“Coventry is a city known for the way it welcomes and supports all people and for its united multicultural life, and we want the same to be true of our Council. I look forward to working with all colleagues on meeting the aims of the Charter and making our Council an even better place to work for all.”

The Council’s EMBRACE network says: “EMBRACE is very pleased with the steps that the City Council has taken in signing the Race at Work Charter.  This reinforces the Council's commitment to culture change, recognising minority ethnic talent and supporting progression and career opportunities at senior levels.  This acknowledgement of lack of representation in leadership shows the EMBRACE network members that the Council is willing to '#MoveTheDial.  Inequality in many forms still exists in our society and this Charter will foster steps to eradicate the micro and macro aggression that are still faced by employees. 

"It has been a pleasure to see the programmes and initiatives that the Council has already adopted in the Race Code, achieving ENEI Silver status, the Ignite programme, the I Will Accelerate programme and the anti-racism training.  The Race at Work Charter is a welcome addition.”

Sandra Kerr CBE, Race Director, Business in the Community, said: “We would like to thank Coventry City Council for publicly committing to be an inclusive and responsible employer. By signing up to the charter, they are joining over 900 businesses who are working together so that the UK can have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the world. By taking collective action, we can break down workplace barriers, raise the aspirations and achievements of talented individuals regardless of their ethnicity and deliver an enormous boost to the long-term economic position of the UK.”

Published: Tuesday, 22nd August 2023