Black people face invisible barriers in the workplace- min

Last Updated on February 2, 2021 by George

Racism in the workplace is still a huge problem in the UK.

An astonishing report has found that the majority of ethnic minority workers have experienced, discrimination and racism in the workplace.

Racial harassment and racism in the workplace in the last five years have shown that black people have been subjected, to unfair treatment by their employer because of their race.

The research, undertaken by YouGov, among 2,000 employees and 500 business leaders reveals that almost one in five workers – some 6.5 million people – feel they cannot be their self at work, with black people reporting this most frequently.

Recent YouGov research also reveals half of Black Britons say they are as likely to have experienced racism in the workplace as on the street, that’s shocking.

Experiencing racism in the workplace daily. Microaggressions and feeling like you have to ‘code-switching’ at work can be hugely draining for ethnic minority employees, and the psychological impact of these stressors shouldn’t be underestimated.

Also, research has shown that “Black people face invisible barriers, reinforces by biased and inconsistent performance management and selection process.”

According to acas: (Help & advice for employers and employees)

“The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against employees, job seekers and trainees because of their race, this includes the different elements of colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin”.

But – yet racism in the workplace remains a widespread and endemic feature of everyday working life in Britain.

Race discrimination

An example would include turning down the best applicant for a job. Because they are black or an ethnic minority and the employer feels they would not ‘fit in’ with the rest of the staff.  Because they are all white and English speaking.

The government’s recently published McGregor-Smith Review:

“race in the workplace reports, that people from black and minority backgrounds are being held back in the workplace because of the colour of their skin.

Costing the UK economy an estimated £24 billion, the equivalent of 1.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) a year”.

Black and minority people

The review also highlighted that six per cent of black and minority people. Reach the top-level management positions, and concluded that now is the time for the government to act.

In 2001 the MacPherson inquiry, mainly investigating the Metropolitan Police. Used the term ‘Institutional Racism’ “where processes, structures, and cultures undermine people from ethnic backgrounds in all aspects.

In 2017, white privilege continued to dictate employment and career opportunities for many black and minority individuals in the workplace.

They are ensuring equality across the highest levels of organisations. Will not change or happen unless businesses identify and acknowledge and develop a comprehensive strategy, which also includes race equality.


Britain today

Companies that fail to recruit a diverse and representative workforce. By branching out to a diverse workforce.

Employers have access to a greater pool of candidates thereby improving the odds of hiring the best person.

In a competitive marketplace, an organisation that puts people first – regardless of their race, religion, gender, age, sexual preference, or physical disability has an advantage over the other companies.

Meanwhile, Britain today must be challenged, and the enforcement regulators need to hold organisations to account.

Trade Union congress

To address this, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) commissioned the Racism at Work survey. Stephen Ashe from The University of Manchester surveyed over 5000 people, who answered questions relating to various aspects of their everyday working lives.

The responses were shocking, with over 70% of black ethnic minority workers saying that they have experienced racial harassment at work in the last five years, and around 60% saying that they have been subjected to unfair treatment by their employer because of their race.

Deep down, we know it’s true.

Almost half reported that racism in the workplace had negatively impacted on their ability to do their job, and almost half have been subject to ‘verbal abuse and racist jokes’.

If employers fail to comply with equality law and the public sector equality duty, this is the only way that things will change.

There are enormous challenges ahead, but the UK government must protect and preserve our equality, employment and workers’ rights in light of Britain exiting the EU.

Widespread Covid-19 crisis  Black Lives Matter protests has disrupted and calls for greater racial equality.

Black struggle in the workplace

Good news!

Have prompted Boris Johnson to launch a cross-government inquiry into systemic racism in the UK.

The Prime Minister said the commission aims to examine “all aspects of inequality ⁠— in employment, racism in the workplace, in health outcomes, in academic and all other walks of life.”

It was derided by the shadow justice secretary, David Lammy, as “deeply worrying and frankly immature that Britain is still having a conversation about whether racism exists”. “He added that it was time for legislative action and not another review”.

Brexit and black citizens’ rights

British black People are living in the UK, making sense of Brexit. We are leaving the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020.

We reveal through original research, their views on Brexit are shaped by personal experiences, every day. Structural and institutional racism.

Notably, such experiences of racism were a feature of their lives. Before and after Brexit, in Britain but also in their places of work and in their community.


British black People talked about Brexit and their experiences of being racialised in trying to find work. As a way of talking about the broader structural racism in British and EU society,

Black women In the workplace

An example, black people experiences of finding work

Jobs Workplace

I sent my CV to a company and, I had an abnormal response back. Much later the reason why I had had quite a frosty, the reaction was that they thought I was looking for immigration papers and was trying to pull some scam”.

Black British and EU society

But the difficulty here is if you believe it is hard to talk about discrimination in England, in the EU, here it is just impossible that racism could exist.

With this in mind, they think that is something British people do and Americans have.

How can we combat racism in the workplace?

Businesses can do a great deal to reduce workplace discrimination, including racism in the workplace.

It is our duty as business leaders to serve our communities without bias, judgment, stigma, racism, or reservation.

We can’t overlook or sit quietly idle when unjust events happen. Particularly the racial injustices that continually occur in the workplace, no matter how uncomfortable it may be to act and respond.

It’s what our companies and customers expect and deserve.

Racism is still a huge problem in UK’s workplaces, finds report

Racism is still a huge problem in the UK’s workplaces, finds report

All voices can be heard combat racism

While that’s easy to say, some companies need to acknowledge where those areas are. By showing the tangible outcomes and ways they are addressing racism.

Too many people are uncomfortable talking about race, but this has to change. If we are to truly be inclusive and build on the widest pool of talent ‎and create a diverse workforce.

The issue of unconscious or conscious bias appears to be a new concept replacing the terminology institutionalised racism‎,

Bear with me, because I’m going to show you How you combat racism in the workplace?

Only by listening, learning, and acting can we be better leaders of diverse organisations.

This does not happen through diversity training and box-ticking exercise.

The only way to combat racism is to unlearn racism, by learning something better; this will often require us to kill a belief that makes us feel better about ourselves.

Lead and teach others

As business managers, directors, officers, governors, we must step up and be the role models our employees are looking for.

It is up to us to research to educate ourselves about current events, and barriers to success for people of colour. In the long run, we need to be not racist, but actively anti-racist.

Diversity and leadership in the workforce

Research shows that black unemployment is at least twice as high as white unemployment in the UK. Notwithstanding the Covid-19 crisis.

Unless we bring more black people on board, that statistic in the same fashion will simply never change. Black unemployment will continue to rise.

It is our responsibility to give those same employees a seat at the corporate table at all levels.

Straightaway that could also create a safe environment so that all employees. Voices can listen to, free of judgment.

How a black person experiences racism in the workplace

Start ending racism how we do this

However, the facts are clear, that change has to come from the very top, which means it begins with directors; and the idea of a road map to success as identified by, this is a starting point.

  1. Gather data

  2. Take accountability

  3. Raise awareness

  4. Examine recruitment

  5. Change processes

Employers, trade unions and staff all must work together to eliminate racism in the workplace.

It’s the executive leader’s job to ensure that all employees, clients and users are treated with fairness, courtesy, dignity, and above all, respect.


Related Blogs

Leave us a comment