In June, Co-op Rise Network’s Atif and Eram attended an event at Portcullis House at the House of Commons. The event was hosted by Dawn Butler MP who is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Governance and Inclusive Leadership (GAIL).

The purpose of GAIL is to improve the working lives of BAME employees and raise the issue of inclusive leadership and governance in all areas of society with the key aim of giving people from visible minorities fair opportunities to progress to positions of power and influence throughout the UK.

It was a fantastic event attended by various businesses including Network Rail, Bank of England, and the NHS, all at different stage in their ethnicity and diversity journey. 

At Co-op we began this journey last year with the creation of our Rise Network, the first step towards improving our ethnic maturity as a business. We were able to use Commons event to gather best practices and ideas used by other organisations and we will look to collaborate with our HR team to work out which ideas and practices would work for us at Co-op. 

An example of this would be urging colleagues to input their ethnicity data on their workplace’s HR system. I would recommend all colleagues fill in this information as it gives the business a better understanding of the composition of people working at Co-op and the ability to monitor the progression of colleagues from different backgrounds as well as understand potential ethnicity pay gaps and provide a benchmark to compare to other businesses. 

One of the things Dawn Butler is championing is mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting across businesses, similar to the mandatory gender pay gap reporting we have today. A survey was conducted in October 2018 by APPG GAIL to better understand whether employers and individuals felt Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting would create positive progress. The most common responses amongst 142 respondents were:

  • Opportunity to look at intersectionality – gender and race, and identify further diversity and intersectionality disparities
  • Encourages companies to begin to collect data which is essential to help highlight gaps and work to close them
  • Giving boards a buy-in to create real change across the organisation.

We think this is an important part of the progress on the diversity journey because in order to address the potential issues, we need to understand the size of issues first. Feel free to make your suggestions by commenting on this post or by emailing us on rise@coop.co.uk

 

Eram Akram and Atif Hussain
FOS analyst and Business Intelligence Analyst

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Co-op Rise Network