For a second year running, here at Gi Group we have participated in Race Equality Matters to emphasise the necessity for equality in the workplace.

Marking the national awareness week with a series of business-wide communications and initiatives, we are committed to racial diversity and inclusion going beyond a big promise, with staff from all areas of the business pledging to take real action to tackle the issue.

Many businesses across the UK have underlined their commitment to racial equality yet race inequality in the workplace still persists. For example, despite representing 12.5% of the working age population, those from an ethnic minority background make up only 10 % of the workforce with only 6% present in top management positions. Learn more.

We operate more than 26 branches and 60 sites, and employ 650 people nationally, and as a company we are taking tangible steps to combat racial inequality in the workplace by championing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for its employees, clients, and candidates alike.

We have a designated diversity and inclusion committee, aimed at creating greater diversity and inclusivity across the entire Gi Group Holding family in the UK (Gi Group, Intoo, Marks Sattin, Grafton).

The committee’s role is to create a working environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing as much of their true selves to work as they wish.

Helen Davies, our diversity and inclusion manager and committee member, said: “Gi Group Holding and our committee are working together to bring positive change to the workplace. This is important to us. So many individuals invest in their careers and depend upon it for their livelihood.

“I often see quotes around the importance of fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce, but at Gi Group we see diversity and inclusion as far more than a tick box exercise. We treat it as both a moral obligation and a commercial imperative. We owe it to everyone to provide a level playing-field, to provide opportunity for everyone, and everyone to feel comfortable with who they are whilst in the workplace.”

To bring the commitments driven by the committee to life, for the last two years we have taken part in the Race Equality Matters campaign. This year’s campaign comprises 5 different challenges, spread across 5 days. An example of one such challenge has seen our Directors publicly posting on social media, specific promise on how they will further advance the cause of race inequality.

Since its launch in November 2021, Race Equality Matters has received encouraging feedback from businesses, with 82% of responses from a poll at its launch believing the Big Promise would make a difference to race equality at their organisation.

Paul Smith, our Chief Operating Officer in the UK, said: “We believe that every person, regardless of their ethnicity, identity, or background, should be able to fulfil their career potential and to enjoy their work. We also believe that a skilled workforce is key to an organisation’s competitive advantage. Organisations need to reflect the communities they serve. It’s not only the right thing to do, morally, it also makes commercial sense. With the UK facing an endemic talent shortage, employers need to think and act differently. Those that ignore individuals with in-demand skills risk seeing that talent going to their competitors. We live in a diverse and multicultural society and so we must constantly work hard to reflect that at Gi Group. I’m very pleased to be a champion of these ideals.”

Paul was also one of many who made a Big Promise as part of Race Equality Matters. He explained: “This year, my promise is to ensure all elements of reward and recognition, from appraisals to bonuses are fair and reflect the racial diversity of Gi Group.”

Beyond participating in the Race Equality Matters 5 Day Challenge to raise understanding of racial inequality in the workplace, we are demonstrating further commitment and impact for change, including, employing interns under the ‘10,000 Black Interns’ programme; facilitating bank holiday annual leave around cultural individuality; hosting ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions; and anonymising the organisation’s recruitment application process.

We are dedicated to taking concrete action to encourage racial equality and diversity with the hope that more businesses will follow in our footsteps, helping to create a more productive and efficient economy to live and work in.

For more information, on our Diversity and Inclusion policies, procedures and initiatives, click here.

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