As one of the world’s developed countries, the United Kingdom has made significant accomplishments. Despite this development, the United Kingdom has several issues in the workplace, where the majority of its residents are employed. The United Kingdom constitution promotes every individual, regardless of their ethnic background or color, to elicit their maximum potential at their place of employment. Employers must establish an environment where employees feel valued and respected for their unique qualities to produce a conducive working environment. It has not always been the case since many people from minority races and ethnicities are subjected to discrimination and find it challenging to integrate into the workplace and advance in their careers compared to their British counterparts. Compared to white employees, the employment statistics for minorities are dismal, indicating potential bias—the McGregor-Smith Report (2017). As a result, minority groups suffer a variety of disadvantages. The paper will discuss the hurdles and enablers that exist in the workplace in the United Kingdom when it comes to addressing race and ethnicity concerns.
Attempts are being made to address the issue of discrimination in the United Kingdom and improve the performance of businesses in that country. According to economists, economics predicts that if the issue is adequately addressed in the workplace, economic growth will be faster than it would otherwise be in the short term. As a result, we will look at some of the roadblocks that make it challenging to address race and ethnicity concerns in the workplace and some of the enablers that make it possible to confront the challenge of discrimination in the workplace in a meaningful and effective way.
The acronyms such as BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) have been coined to refer to the minority races in the United Kingdom. As a result, acronyms have become increasingly popular in the workplace. Given that they represent the various ethnic and racial minorities throughout the country, it is discriminatory to refer to them as BAME. Discriminatory phrases and acronyms are accountable for causing uneasiness and a lack of motivation in various individuals. As a result, addressing the minority by using the acronyms BAME in the workplace may result in an individual feeling less appreciated in their place of employment. As a result, they may be unable to fulfill their full potential at work because they may develop a pessimistic attitude that interferes with their ability to perform and succeed at their jobs.
The inability to acknowledge the negative impact faced by the experiences of people of color is also another critical enabler to the challenges faced by the minority in the UK and their working environment. There has been an enormous silence and failure to accept the adverse effects slavery and colonialism impacted on the affected people (Rhys, 1992). The silence has been agonizing to the majority of the minority individuals since they are perceived as inferiors. Slavery and colonialism resulted in the migration of individuals to various countries, such as the UK, which was a colony to many countries. Due to this, some of the UK citizens are a result of these migrations, which in some cases were forced. Therefore, the silence to address this issue results in a negative attitude from the minority who feel their rights were violated. Therefore, it is necessary to address the issue to heal any wounds that resulted from slavery over the years. Doing so would enable a peaceful coexistence among the minority since they would feel appreciated in the country and at their workplace.
It is also worth noting that various researches have identified that racial equality in the UK has been advocated for at a slow pace than gender equality. Over the years, the feminine gender felt left out and embarked on a mission to advocate for gender equality. Even though race equality has been advocated for many centuries since slavery was discouraged, the progress made has not been as significant as that made over by the advocates for gender equality. It is a shame that this trend affects the UK alone, but the problem is experienced globally, as witnessed by the advocates for Black Lives Matter. Because the fight for racial equality is at a slow pace, we find that even at the workplace in the UK, career progression tends to favor more the opposite gender from the minority race than individuals from the minority.
Employees from BAME within different institutions also tend to face the same discrimination regarding wages received. Hudson et al. (2017) note the challenges faced by the minority races in the different working environments. It is worth noting that the authors researched within the public sector. It is, therefore, sad to note that the same government that advocates protecting the constitution fails to uphold it by unfairly treating the minority. The research realized that favoritism, homosocial reproduction, and economic marginalization characterized ethnicity and the low wage traps. Despite this, we need to realize the problem is the system in place, which is yet to be changed. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every concerned party to stand tall and address the issues in one way or the other. For instance, the supervisors should be more considerate and ensure equal enumeration for employees rather than discriminating according to race.
The minority in the UK are discriminated at the working environment, something that needs to change to achieve maximum economic growth. The government and any involved stakeholder need to play a role to ensure racial discrimination has been curtailed in the UK. The government has already established some measures that need to be enforced to ensure the minority can enjoy the same benefits as the majority. Some of the enablers that would come in handy are emphasized below;
The most significant ideology that will address ethnic and racial discrimination in a working environment is talking about it. The realization by most individuals and organizations has led to the rise of various organizations and entities advocating for the rights of minorities, just as it happened while championing gender equality. The advocates for the rights of the minorities in the working environment are championing better working conditions and an environment for the minorities that is free from any bias. They advocate for career growth, better pay, fair recruitment process, among others. Talking about the issue helps people realize that there is something wrong with racial and ethnic prejudice, which must be addressed immediately.
The issue advocates emphasize that once most business organizations have addressed the challenge, better-improved business performance shall be realized. It can be attributed to the fact that the discriminated individuals will feel appreciated in their working environment hence will do their best. It will also come in handy by ensuring a greater understanding of the customer’s needs and addressing them. In return, the customers will be happy, and as we know, a happy customer is a key to a successful business. Once the business can fully satisfy its customers, it can enhance its business culture and ensure they pass the relevant knowledge and skills to any new employee recruited into the organization without bias. Due to these worthy reasons, the government and the employers should both work hand n hand to ensure they eradicate racial and ethnic bias in the workplace in the UK to ensure better productivity for the businesses and the UK economy.
The government should introduce compulsory reporting on ethnicity pay. Doing so would ensure that the minority working in the UK are not discriminated against in terms of their wages. The compulsory reporting would enable standardized payment to all employees within different sectors engaged in similar production activities are remunerated equally (Parker, 2017). Therefore, it would result in better production since the employees in the various organizations feel appreciated and will be highly motivated to utilize their potential fully. Compulsory reporting has been proven to work since it played a crucial role in ensuring gender discrimination within different organizations regarding wages was highly minimized through the gender pay gap reporting.
The government should also advocate and support quality management by breaking the silence. It should be at the forefront to change the narrative regarding discriminating against the minority. As noted by Hazard et al., the public sector has not been spared either when discriminating against the minority in terms of payment and career progression. Therefore, it should show commitment by remunerating the minorities better and advising even the private sector to follow suit. Therefore, business entities would be able to support the minority, hence diversifying employees working for their organization.
Business owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should shift the narrative and emphasize the minorities who work in their respective industries. They should develop a working strategy that will be implemented to ensure that the discriminatory activities that are currently taking place are no longer taking place (Congress, 2016). The productivity of employees who are satisfied with their jobs is higher than that of employees dissatisfied with their jobs. Consequently, businesses themselves should bear the primary responsibility for appeasing minorities who work in their organizations, with the ultimate goal of increasing productivity as the ultimate goal.
The fact that BAME people have a harder time advancing in their careers when compared to white people, who are a minority in the United Kingdom, has been brought to light. Business entities should develop a strategy for diversifying leadership structures across an organization due to this finding (Congress, 2017). People of color are also skilled in the same ways that white people are, and their abilities should be recognized by rewarding them most appropriate for their accomplishments. Promotion in a career should be determined by an individual’s ability to produce results rather than by the race into which they were born or the country from which they originate. It can only be accomplished if businesses are willing to share their successes openly in achieving diverse leadership in their organizations and the various cultural differences they have experienced throughout their history. Furthermore, they should communicate the successes that people of color have achieved in leadership positions to ensure that other organizations can replicate their successes. As a result, discrimination against people of color and ethnic minorities will be addressed in the United Kingdom as a matter of urgency.
It is saddening to note that despite the significant accomplishment made by the UK, the issue of discrimination is a thorn in the flesh that refuses to go away. McGregor-Smith Report (2017) indicates that only 6% of managers in most UK businesses are from minority races. It indicates the challenge of career progression discussed above since a majority of the minority remains stagnated in the same potions for years despite the knowledge and skills they acquire from working for the same organization for several years. It is estimated that the UK should embrace ethnically diverse leadership, and then the business is likely to outperform by 35% more (Muttalib, 2020). It highlights the possibility that UK’s economy has the potential to perform even much better than it currently performs
It is recommended that executives in a wide range of business enterprises implement a strategy that includes procedures for measuring, monitoring, and reporting minority bias in the workplace in order to reduce minority bias in the workplace. It would be more effective for minorities to ensure that they are appropriately represented in their company enterprises, particularly in leadership roles, if they took the initiative to do so (Bewley, 2020). The ability to maintain an effective and non-discriminatory workplace environment will be critical in achieving professional advancement for both minorities and whites.
It is required by the government that an employer-led strategy be developed to guide them through the process of determining which actions to take, among other things, in order to achieve its objectives. If businesses remain silent on the issue, they will be more likely to overlook or even discriminate against minorities in their hiring practices (Rafferty, A., 2012). As long as the government maintains control over the situation from the outset of the process, other businesses may choose to follow its example. Whoever is unwilling or unable, for whatever reason, to comply with government demands does so out of fear of the repercussions that may follow if they do not comply with the demands of the government Anyone who does not want to comply with the demands of the government will find it difficult not to comply. Because of this, policies that instruct employers on how to interact and communicate effectively with minorities who work for them should be developed, and these policies should be implemented as soon after they have been developed as is possible after they have been developed.
Businesses should refrain from making broad generalizations about their employees by referring to them as BAME, which includes a wide variety of background cultures, among other things, because the acronyms BAME, as previously stated, are discriminatory. When referring to ethnic minorities, it is considered appropriate to refer to them as such rather than using terms such as BAME or any other term that has come to be associated with the minority group. Although these seemingly insignificant behaviors may have little impact, they have a significant impact (Longhi and Brynin, 2017). As a manager, it is their responsibility to create a work environment in which their employees feel valued and appreciated and ensure that this happens. According to research, finding more effective ways to connect with minorities, or even making a passing reference to them, can aid in the development of this type of workplace culture.
Aside from that, business entities should conduct benchmarking to gain a better understanding of what other businesses in the industry are doing in terms of accommodating minorities who work in their places of business. The organization is able to benefit from the knowledge and experience of their peers who work in the same industry as them as a result of this arrangement. Following completion of this training, management will have a much better understanding of the various approaches taken by different organizations to the issue of ethnic and racial discrimination. It is as a result of taking this approach that the organization will be able to strategically position itself as it embraces the many different and diverse individuals who reside within its periphery.
From the discussions that have taken place so far, it has become clear that it is necessary to reexamine the concept and policy of multiculturalism. According to this theory, minorities are well-liked by the general public. After all, according to this theory, they are treated with dignity and respect, and as a result, they are accorded the respect that they deserve. These individuals are well-known and respected in their respective communities as well as the broader community at large. Implementing it in the workplace will be particularly beneficial, as the presence of the minority will be felt by those who work there. In no way should you undervalue the fact that minorities can make a significant contribution to the success of a company by providing valuable perspectives, contributions, and practices that are beneficial to the company’s success (Seifert and Wang, 2018). A multicultural society allows people to coexist peacefully with their neighbors because no one is perceived as being more important than the other. Despite the fact that they come from different racial or ethnic backgrounds, they would be considered minorities in other societies if they did not live together.
Furthermore, the United Kingdom must take the issue of racial justice very seriously. The vast majority of minority workers in the United Kingdom are subjected to inhumane working conditions at their places of employment because they are members of ethnic minorities (Rhys, 1992). Because the issue of racial justice is taken seriously, it requires that we come together as a community to ensure that minorities feel valued and that they are not subjected to the inhumane acts that they are subjected to in their place of employment.
Finally, due to the long history of discrimination against minorities in the United Kingdom, addressing racial and ethnic prejudice in the workplace in the country presents several challenges. In order to eradicate the vice from society, and specifically the workplace, all parties involved must work together to achieve this objective. Our discussion has identified several roles that the government and employers should play in various situations to eradicate the vice. Racism and ethnic prejudice must be addressed if the economy of the United Kingdom is to continue to grow. As a result of its efforts, the various businesses involved in eradicating the vice will see tremendous growth, resulting in improved performance overall.
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