Tackling Race Inequalities in Career Progression in UK Organisations

  • Jill MillerEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Explorations in Workplace Stigma book series (PAEWS)


There is a significant lack of racial diversity at the top of United Kingdom (UK) organisations. For sustainable change, organisations need to have racially diverse talent pipelines. In this chapter we explore the barriers and enablers to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employee career progression, and provide recommendations to help drive employer action in tackling the inequalities of opportunity. We draw on Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development UK survey research conducted with 700 BAME and 590 white British employees, to examine the employee perspective of what is blocking and enabling their career progression, comparing views both within and between groups. We found that discrimination is still a real issue within UK workplaces. A fifth of BAME employees whose career progression to date has failed to meet their expectations say discrimination is a factor limiting their career progression—significantly higher than the 11% of white British saying discrimination is a problem. BAME employees are also more likely to say they feel they need to change aspects of their behaviour at work to fit in. Overall, seeing that other people like you have progressed in the organisation, a greater diversity of people at senior levels and mentoring was reported to be more important career enablers for BAME employees than for white British employees. However, our research shows that, within the broad ‘BAME’ grouping, different minority ethnic groups face different obstacles to career progression.


Race Racial diversity Career progression Discrimination 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chartered Institute of Personnel and DevelopmentLondonUK

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