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Mayor declares City Hall anti-racist organisation: Figures show Black men more than twice likely than White men to be unemployed

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today declared City Hall a committedly anti-racist organisation as he unveiled a toolkit to help businesses cultivate genuinely inclusive working environments.

Sadiq is determined to tackle structural and institutionalised racism across London and is urging businesses to follow the new guidance.

The toolkit, which has been published today, offers practical guidance to businesses to help diversify their workforce and foster a truly inclusive workplace culture.

One in five men in the capital is Black, but Black men are significantly more likely to experience unemployment than their White counterparts, with 33 per cent of Black men out of work compared to 15 per cent of White men. Disparities persist even across educational levels with Black graduate unemployment at 13 per cent compared to a rate of just 4 per cent for White graduates.

The Mayor is committed to leading by example in making City Hall an actively anti-racist organisation and has, along with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, (MOPAC) pledged to take the following action, in addition to committing to the actions in the toolkit:

  • launching an organisational-wide cultural change programme underpinned by an independent review into the structural barriers that prevent Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and specifically Black progression;
  • setting targets by gender and ethnicity for the proportion of Black male and Black female staff across the GLA and MOPAC, and specifically the senior leadership teams to, reflect the wider London working age population

City Hall has been working hard to ensure that equality is a key part of its work, and is already reporting on its ethnicity pay gap and developing a pioneering action plan to close it, offering Covid-19 risk assessments across the GLA family including for colleagues from BAME backgrounds and working to increase the trust and confidence of London’s Black communities in the Metropolitan Police Service through the Mayor’s forthcoming Action Plan.

The new inclusive employers toolkit builds on the work of the Mayor’s Workforce Integration Network (WIN) – a City Hall scheme launched in 2018 to tackle disproportionate levels of unemployment among young Black men* while seeking to improve access to sectors such as construction and technology where they are typically underrepresented.

It offers practical guidance encouraging companies to review their processes in the following areas:

1.   Commitment – companies are urged to clearly pledge their commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, conducting reviews of past underperformance where necessary and providing relevant training for staff in order to achieve better outcomes in future.

2.   Engagement and Recruitment – businesses are encouraged to produce coherent strategies with measurable targets for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups. This could include refreshing marketing materials, removing bias from the application process and ensuring interview panels are diverse.

3.   Retention and Progression – companies are challenged to affirm their position by taking swift action in response to claims of racism or discrimination while offering clear pathways to promotion and further development for underrepresented groups. 

4.   Suppliers – businesses are asked to evaluate diversity in their supply chain and consider using Black, Asian or ethnic minority led suppliers and those demonstrating an active commitment to diversity.

Businesses of all sizes are invited to join WIN to strengthen its network, utilise its resources and help create pathways into living wage employment for young Black men.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Our capital’s diversity is its greatest strength, but the makeup of too many organisations, especially at their highest levels, fails to present a true picture of modern London.

“Your background, gender and ethnicity should have no bearing on what you can achieve which is why part of becoming actively anti-racist involves acknowledging the fact systemic racism remains pervasive across societyEmployers and businesses must do more to embed anti-racist practices in their operations and their company culture.

“That is why, in declaring City Hall an actively anti-racist body, I am proud to share this toolkit with London’s business community. Helping them strengthen their workforce through the enrichment diversity brings and building a more resilient capital with genuine inclusivity at its core.”

 Sioned Churchill, Director of Grants at Trust for London, said:

“It’s not right that Black men in London experience more unemployment than White men.

Employers across London can help address these disparities. The WIN ‘inclusive employers toolkit’ supports companies to improve the recruitment, retention and progression of young Black men within the workplace

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