CMI poll finds ‘persistent workplace discrimination in the UK’

Over half of UK employees polled by the Chartered Management Institute in March this year have reported having witnessed or experienced discrimination in the workplace.

The poll of 2,066 UK-based staff (not in management roles) suggests that 41% had themselves been discriminated against at work due to their identity. Some 52% reported having been overlooked for workplace opportunities because of it.

Harassment and bullying in the workplace were more commonly reported by those identifying as LGBTQ+ (38%) and those from black backgrounds (35%).

This “persistent level of exclusion…is holding back the British economy and public services”, according to the professional body.

Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, commented: “It's really quite simple: this data is a wake up call not just for fairness but on the future success of UK business and public services. Let's be frank: progress is evident but painfully slow. We can't afford to wait two generations to harness all of our available talent, given the economic, societal and environmental challenges we face.

“We know that inclusive organisations are more likely to be successful: more innovative, higher performing, responsive to the needs of their customers and communities, and better able to face an uncertain future by harnessing greater opportunities.

“This research reveals that although some progress has been made, employers and managers must strive to go much further than paying lip service to EDI, and commit to addressing the inequalities that exist. Passive compliance is not enough. Active leadership is required to enable UK organisations to face the future."

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