UK Managers Ill-prepared to Close the Ethnicity Pay Gap

Posted On: 
11th January 2019

CMI survey reveals nearly two thirds of managers have received no training on managing diversity and inclusion in last 12 months

A CMI survey of nearly 950 managers based in the UK showed that nearly two thirds of managers (61%) have either never received training on managing diversity and inclusion in the workplace or have received no training in the last 12 months.

The survey also found:

  • only half (52%) of junior managers are very confident in challenging discriminatory language in the workplace, compared to three quarters (76%) of directors;
  • just over half (54%) of black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) managers think mentoring and sponsorship is important to a great extent, compared to around a third (36%) of white managers; and.
  • half (50%) of BAME managers were anticipating a promotion in 2019, compared to just over a third (38%) of white managers.

CMI’s CEO Ann Francke said the survey results highlight the critical role of line managers in delivering diversity and inclusion.

“Line managers play a pivotal role in changing behaviours and creating a balanced workplace. They need to be equipped and empowered to call out bias and deliver diversity and inclusion."

“There is clearly no lack of ambition amongst BAME workers, with half (50%) of BAME managers expecting to apply for promotion in 2019. Yet BAME men and women are still under-represented in senior management and leadership roles. If we are to build the pipeline of BAME talent then we need to enable line managers so that they champion, not block, change."

“The fact that around 1 in 4 managers have never received training on how to manage diversity and inclusion is shocking. This is why CMI is calling on Government to require all organisations covered by the proposed new ethnicity pay reporting requirements to publish action plans setting out how line managers will be developed and supported to deliver diversity and inclusion. Without progress on the realities of line management behaviours, the rhetoric of Ministers and policy-makers on closing the ethnicity pay gap falls flat."  

CMI has previously published extensive research on improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace, which highlights the importance of building line management capability. CMI provides a range of training to help employers achieve this by turning “accidental managers” into competent and confident leaders. This includes accreditation of employers’ own diversity and inclusion programmes.

The CMI’s Managers Voice survey involved nearly 950 UK based CMI members, of whom 76% are in full-time paid employment (12% are self-employed; 41% are middle managers or junior managers, 38% are senior managers or directors, and 7% are CEOs).