Racism hinders career progress according to new research

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Looking to the future: now is the time to re-evaluate sector says Lorraine Copes
Looking to the future: now is the time to re-evaluate sector says Lorraine Copes

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Some 43% of black people say their ethnicity has hindered career progression in the hospitality sector while only 7% of white people believe the same, according to the second edition of the Inside Hospitality report.

The report, produced by Be Inclusive Hospitality, also found 28% of Asian, 37% of black and 39% of mixed ethnicity respondents have experienced or witnessed racism in their current place of work.

Inside Hospitality​ has used anonymous views and experiences across topics including careers in hospitality, racism, diversity and inclusion, and education. It concludes with five pragmatic steps that business leaders can take to accelerate change.

Among its other key findings are:

  • Among respondents who have witnessed or experienced racism, 23% Asian, 16% black and 12% of mixed respondents have been offered wellbeing support, including mental health or otherwise
  • Asian and black senior leaders feel unsupported by their employers regarding career progression compared to their peers. Asian senior leaders (38%) and black senior leaders (39%) felt they are ‘very well’ or ‘well’ supported compared to two thirds (65%) of white senior leaders.    
  • Black respondents, at 43%, are most likely to report that ethnicity has hindered career progression. Asian (37%) and mixed (28%) respondents reported the same while just 7% of white respondents believe this.
  • Only 1 in 5 of all respondents have accessed workshops about anti-racism, race or language. There is a strong appetite to do so, with 5 in 10 respondents stating that they would like to.

Lorraine Copes, Founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality and an industry leader, said: “The time is now for the hospitality industry to stop and consider if it wants to be a sector where all employees and businesses can develop and build successful futures.

“Sadly, the findings confirm what I have observed over the past 20 years, which is there are barriers for progression for black, Asian and ethnic minorities to move upwards, and sector leaders should act now to remove them.”

Perfect conduit

Craig Prentice, director and founder of alternative recruitment business Mum, said: “Change can only begin after a conversation. Be Inclusive Hospitality’s report provides the perfect conduit our industry needs to change.”

Since inception, Be Inclusive Hospitality has facilitated workshops to more than 500 hospitality leaders and delivered professional development and wellbeing initiatives positively benefiting close to 400 black, Asian and ethnic minorities throughout the hospitality sector.

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