Countries around the world, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, celebrate Black History Month which offers an opportunity for individuals and companies to pay homage to important individuals and events that shaped history and continue to shape the future. Companies of all sizes and in all industries hold events to educate on Black history and invite Black leaders and colleagues to share their career and life stories. However, the question still lingers, how well-represented is the Black community in the workplace and is it enough?
For many companies, representation of minority groups remains a challenge and for some who claim to be inclusive, internal challenges still exist for Black ethnic groups as well as other minority groups. This includes being treated with respect and equality, educating colleagues on conscious and unconscious bias, addressing racial discrimination, and having a voice in the company. Each of these challenges contribute to an uneasy working environment for Black employees and others who are underrepresented.
Creating the index
The Black Leaders Group, in partnership with NielsenIQ, the world leader in data collection and analysis, created a Black Inclusion Index consisting of a standard set of employee questions used to establish benchmarks for three key areas of inclusion: (1) Readiness, (2) Execution, and (3) the Overall Index.
The purpose of the index is to measure specific areas around inclusion of Black ethnic groups in the workplace and for companies to use these indices to benchmark themselves against peers in their same industry. The index will also help companies identify their areas of strength and areas of opportunity to accelerate inclusion and address perceptions that exist within their organizations.
The areas of measurement include:
1. What the current business environment is with regards to Black inclusion.
2. What areas of the company need focus and improvement.
3. What levels of inclusiveness should be the company’s benchmark.
The index aims to establish a uniform scale to measure how effective companies are in their pursuit of inclusion of Black ethnic groups. The survey is fielded to both Black and non-Black employees of the organization and will capture employee sentiment towards the organization’s Black inclusion practices.
The initial study interviewed n=1,000 employees in the UK (United Kingdom) across various demographics, industries, tenure at their organization, and organization size to calculate the first round of results to form the basis of the index.
Looking at the results, there are distinct differences in perceptions from Black employees compared to non-Black employees across diversity, strategy, communication and involvement in community programs and activities aimed at improving the lives of Black people.
Black employees consistently gave lower agreement ratings across attributes relating to fair representation of Black people and the number of Black employees in leadership positions. Also, the level of community involvement with programs that advance Black communities were rated lower by Black employees.
There also seems to be a clear disconnect between Black and non-Black employees regarding level of commitment, as less than half (49%) of Black employees feel that their organizations are not serious about being inclusive for Black employees compared to 76% of non-Black employees. This could
speak to a different approach needed by companies.
Overall, non-Black employees indexed higher on the Readiness Index (74/100) compared to Black employees at 56/100 with both groups obtaining higher indices on the Execution Index with nonBlack employees at 76/100 and Black employees at 56/100.
When asked about the result Paul Sesay from The Black Leaders UK added, “The results clearly confirm what Black employees across the board have been saying for a long time. There is a huge difference in the perception of fair or effective work being carried out to impact the growth, progression, and opportunities for Black employees within organisations. This report demonstrates that non-Black employees think more is being done than Black employees experience in the workplace and in their communities. Leaders within organisations need to listen and act on the views of Black employees. “
Rachel White who leads NielsenIQ in the UK and Ireland echoed Sesay’s sentiment in saying that: “This is why the Black inclusion index is so important in helping businesses understand the difference between reality and perception. By helping businesses and associates view the working environment and policies through the lens of our Black employees we will build a better inclusive workplace.”
The Black Leaders Group and NielsenIQ would like to invite companies to participate in the benchmarking study to ensure better inclusion of Black employees. For further enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Black Leaders
Black Leaders is a community of committed Black professionals and allies who have come together to make positive and sustainable change. Their purpose is “To positively impact the lives of Black people in every aspect of society.” They work to engage, collaborate, and support those who want to make a change for the better, to Continuously move the needle, challenge, support and educate to permanently change Black lives for the better. For more information, visit www.blackleaders.co.uk
NielsenIQ is the leader in providing the most complete, unbiased view of consumer behavior, globally. Powered by a ground-breaking consumer data platform and fueled by rich analytic capabilities, NielsenIQ enables bold, confident decision-making for the world’s leading consumer goods companies and retailers. Using comprehensive data sets and measuring all transactions equally, NielsenIQ gives clients a forward-looking view into consumer behavior in order to optimize performance across all retail platforms. Our open philosophy on data integration enables the most influential consumer data sets on the planet. NielsenIQ delivers the complete truth.
NielsenIQ, an Advent International portfolio company, has operations in nearly 100 markets, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielseniq.com