Rethink Mental Illness signs the Race at Work Charter

08 March 2022

Rethink Mental Illness has joined over 800 organisations by signing the Race at Work Charter.

Business in the Community (BITC) is pleased to announce that Rethink Mental Illness has joined over 800 employers in signing up to the Race at Work Charter, an initiative designed for businesses to collectively commit to improving equal opportunities for Black, Asian, Mixed Race and ethnically diverse employees in the UK.

The Race at Work Charter builds on the findings from BITC’s 2021 Race at Work Survey, which found that while 76% of employers said that race recruitment and progression was a priority, only 46% had set targets to improve the racial diversity of their boards.

The survey also found that whilst 99 percent of employers have 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 Race at Work Charter calls on businesses to:

  • Appoint an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capture data and publicising progress
  • Ensure zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Make equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression
  • Support race inclusion allies in the workplace
  • Include Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse-led enterprise owners in supply chains

Launched in 2018, the Race at Work Charter builds on the work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, which found that people from Black, Asian, Mixed Race and ethnically diverse backgrounds are still underemployed, underpromoted and under-represented at senior levels.

Sandra Kerr CBE, Race Director at Business in the Community, said:

“We would like to thank Rethink Mental Illness for publicly committing to be an inclusive and responsible employer. By signing up to the charter, they are joining over 800 businesses who are working together so that the UK can have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the world. By taking collective action, we can break down workplace barriers, 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.”

Peter Alleyne, Associate Director for Race Equality, Rethink Mental Illness, said:

“Signing the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter is an important step for Rethink Mental Illness. It further demonstrates our public commitment to take practical steps to tackle the barriers faced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues in our charity. As we look to deliver on our anti-racism commitments and focus on creating meaningful change, it's another key step towards achieving our goal of becoming an anti-racist organisation.”