Specialist insurer Beazley has signed the Race at Work Charter, which aims to improve outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic employees in the workplace. The initiative is led by membership organisation Business in the Community (BITC), which works in partnership with the UK government. While the Race at Work Charter is a UK initiative, Beazley is extending its commitment to the charter across the entire global group.
By signing the charter, Beazley expands its commitment to building greater diversity across all levels of the organisation, and focusing efforts in three priority areas: leadership, progression and recruitment. Led by the inclusion & diversity committee, Beazley is building a programme of practical steps to tackle barriers that underrepresented racial/ethnic groups face in recruitment and progression, and by continuing to ensure the business is representative of the communities, customers and clients it services. BITC has outlined five Race at Work Charter principles, which will guide Beazley to take action toward its goals.
The Race at Work Charter principles are:
- Appoint an exec sponsor for race
- Capture data and publicise progress
- Commit at board level to a zero tolerance of harassment & bullying
- Make clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders & managers
- Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression
This builds on work undertaken by Beazley over the past 12 months to drive change and improve representation of minority ethnic groups throughout the company. In April 2020, Beazley launched RACE@Beazley an employee-led network, which aims to foster a more inclusive environment for colleagues within the workforce and actively support the group’s goal of enhancing the racial and ethnic diversity of its workforce. RACE@Beazley is one of a number of Beazley’s inclusion and diversity (I&D) focused networks that form an integral part of Beazley’s overarching I&D strategy.
Bethany Greenwood, group head of Cyber & Executive risk, who has been appointed as Beazley’s Race at Work Charter executive sponsor, said: “Having a workforce that includes a mix of cultures, experiences and backgrounds that is representative of the communities and clients we serve is good for our organisation and an important part of our future success. Improving diversity across the business helps support our vision for growth and plays a pivotal role in positioning us to outperform in the market. We are proud to make this public commitment to do more in the race and ethnicity space.”
Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community, said: “We would like to thank Beazley for setting out their commitment to being an inclusive and responsible employer. By signing up to the charter they are showing that they aspire to have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the country. Together we can break down barriers in the workplace, raise the aspirations and achievements of talented individuals, and deliver an enormous boost to the long-term economic position of the UK.”
The Race at Work Scorecard report published by BITC in 2018 showed that there is still a need for concerted and consistent action from employers across the UK to improve outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic employees. The report showed:
- An increase in the number of workers from black, Asian and minority ethnic background reporting that they have witnessed or experienced racist harassment or bullying from customers or service users.
- Despite being ambitious, over half of black, Asian and minority ethnic employees still believe they will have to leave their current organisation to progress their career.
- The proportion of managers who reported that they have a performance objective to promote equality at work fell from 41% in 2015 to 32% in 2018.
- Employees did not report any increase in the number of leaders demonstrating commitment and taking action since 2015.
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