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Employees’ experience of race-related matters following murder of George Floyd

Two years on from the murder of George Floyd in the USA, Ipsos has published research into the experience of UK employees following the incident. A representative sample of 1,652 workers aged 16-75 were interviewed with 405 interviews coming from those with an ethnic minority background

The survey saw 41% of workers confirm that their organisation’s handling of race-related issues had been impacted by the murder. In contrast to the survey cohort as a whole, 57% of those from ethnic minority backgrounds stated the incident had impacted the way their company handled race-related matters at least a little. Also, despite workers’ beliefs that employers were willing to take action, less than half (43%) considered that this commitment had been lasting.

It was notable that employees representing different ethnicities demonstrated differences in their opinions of the steps companies had taken to create environments of inclusivity for those of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. For example, 61% of white working Britons agreed that their company was taking steps to engender an inclusive environment. However, this figure fell to 53% for ethnic minority workers. Similarly, 73% of white working Britons felt they could safely be themselves at work whilst the figure for those from ethnic minority backgrounds was 60%. Less than half of ethnic minority workers (49%) felt valued at work whereas 63% of white working Britons did.

Less than half (45%) of workers agreed that the leaders of their organisation were racially diverse. This suggests there is room for improvement in this regard. Furthermore, workers from an ethnic minority background were much more likely to report having encountered micro-aggressions in the workplace, with those describing their ethnicity as Black reporting a higher percentage of incidents than the ethnic minority cohort as a whole.