Food service business Compass Group UK & Ireland has signed up to the Race at Work Charter in partnership with Business in the Community (BITC).
The initiative is designed to improve outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees in the UK.
The Race at Work Charter fosters a commitment to improving the employees’ working lives, and consists of five principles to make sure that organisations address the barriers to BAME recruitment and progression. Organisations that sign up to the charter must agree to:
- Appoint an executive sponsor for race;
- Capture data and publicise progress;
- Ensure zero tolerance of harassment and bullying;
- Make equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers; and
- Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression.
Compass joins about 200 public, private and charitable bodies that have also signed up to the charter. It builds on the work of the 2017 report, Race in the Workplace, by Ruby McGregor-Smith, which found that people from BAME backgrounds were still underemployed, under-promoted and under-represented at senior levels.
Robin Mills, managing director of Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “I believe passionately in equality and diversity, and now is a galvanising moment for Compass Group UK & Ireland as well as wider society. We want to celebrate the rich diversity in our business and signing the Race at Work Charter will help us to understand and tackle issues as part of a wider community. Internally, we’re also taking steps in the right direction to encourage greater inclusivity and we know our people and our business will thrive on this journey.”
Sandra Kerr CBE, BITC’s race equality director, said: “We would like to thank Compass Group UK & Ireland for setting out their commitment to being an inclusive and responsible employer. By signing up to the charter they are showing that they aspire to have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the country. Together we can break down barriers in the workplace, raise the aspirations and achievements of talented individuals, and deliver an enormous boost to the long-term economic position of the UK.”
Alice Woodwark, managing director of Compass’s RA Group, has been named as the executive team sponsor, and Rak Kalidas has been appointed head of diversity and inclusion. They will lead on Compass’s strategic vision of diversity, including priorities such as creating a Cultural Diversity Employee Network and employee listening groups to inform a detailed action plan.
These appointments build on Compass’s own Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, which aims to:
- Create a workforce that represents the rich diversity of the customers and clients Compass serve, as well as society as a whole;
- Help everyone in the business to feel able to be themselves at work;
- For everyone in the business to have an equal opportunity to progress in their careers, and
- To widen access to career opportunities to encompass all in our society.
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