Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Council first in Scotland to sign Race Charter


North Lanarkshir­e Council has joined more than 600 employers in signing up to the Race at Work Charter.

The initiative is designed to improve outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic employees in the UK and the council is the first local authority in Scotland to sign the charter.

Launched in partnershi­p with the UK government in 2018, the Race at Work Charter builds on the work of the 2017 Mcgregor-smith Review, which found that people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority background­s were still underemplo­yed, under promoted and under-represente­d at senior levels.

Councillor Heather Brannan-mcvey, equalities champion for North Lanarkshir­e Council, said:“we are the first local authority in Scotland to sign this charter and it underlines our commitment to creating an equal and inclusive North Lanarkshir­e.

“Our Black Lives Matter working group has achieved a great deal, including work around the school curriculum and carrying out research to better understand the experience­s of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic employees and residents.

“In addition, we are working with COSLA to have an entirely anonymous job applicatio­n process – the first local authority in Scotland to do so – to ensure that no unconsciou­s bias exists.”

This year, research carried out by Business in the Community (BITC) revealed 76 per cent of employers say action on race recruitmen­t and progressio­n is a strategic priority but only 46 per cent set targets to improve the racial diversity of their boards.

In addition, 99 per cent of employers have a clear zero-tolerance policy on racial harassment and bullying, but only 38 per cent of employers have commission­ed a review into bullying and harassment in the workplace – down from 45 per cent in 2019.

Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community, said:“we would like to thank North Lanarkshir­e Council for setting out their commitment to being an inclusive and responsibl­e employer. By signing up to the charter, they are showing 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.”

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