The initiative is designed for businesses to commit to improving equal opportunities for black, Asian, mixed race and ethnically diverse employees in the UK.
It builds on work by outreach charity Business in the Community’s Race At Work survey, which revealed while three quarters (76%) of employers said race recruitment and progression was a priority, under half (46%) had set targets to improve the racial diversity of their boards.
Furthermore, the survey found while 99% of employers had a zero-tolerance policy on racial harassment and bullying, black, Asian, mixed race and ethnically diverse employees are twice as likely than white employees to have experienced or witnessed racist harassment from managers, customers, clients and colleagues.
The charter, which was launched in 2018 and calls on businesses to appoint an executive sponsor for race, to capture data and publicise progress, ensure zero tolerance of harassment and bullying, and make equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers.
It also urges employers to take action that supports ethnic minority career progression, support race inclusion allies in the workplace and to include black, Asian, mixed race and other ethnically diverse-led enterprise owners in supply chains.
Business in the Community race director Sandra Kerr CBE said: “We would like to thank Marston’s for publicly committing to be an inclusive and responsible employer.
“By signing up to the charter, Marston’s is joining more than 800 businesses that are working together so the UK can have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the world.
“By taking collective we can break down workplaces, raise the aspirations and achievements of talented individuals regardless of their ethnicity and deliver an enormous boost to the long-term economic position of the UK.”
Marston’s chief finance officer and lead on the pub company’s inclusion taskforce Hayleigh Lupino outlined the difference being part of the charter could make to the business.
She said: “Marston’s is delighted to sign the Race at Work Charter. This means taking practical steps to provide equality of opportunity for all, regardless of race and ethnicity and is tackling barriers people face in recruitment and progression, and that we are representative of our communities, guests, team members and stakeholders.
“We will benefit from the wealth of diverse talent on offer and ensure people have a great experience and feel included.”