March 2, 2024

Cocoabar21 Clinton

Truly Business

Sky aims for one in five staff from minority backgrounds by 2025 | Sky

3 min read

Sky has pledged that one in five of its staff will be from a minority ethnic background by 2025, under a new recruitment target that could lead to 1,500 more black, Asian and minority ethnic workers being hired.

The broadcaster will guarantee that at least 5% of employees are black, almost double the current number, as it moves to reshape its 25,000-strong workforce in the UK and Ireland, partly in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The move is broadly in line with predictions that a fifth of Britons will be from minority ethnic backgrounds by 2031, and follows research that found Sky’s workforce was not representative of the areas where it operates, including around its west London HQ where 48% of the population is BAME.

The targets echo those set by several banks, accountants and the civil service. At the BBC, where 15% of staff are BAME, shortlists for the highest-paid jobs must now include at least one minority ethnic candidate. This month the comedian and actor Lenny Henry argued that unless British broadcasters improve on diversity on both sides of the camera, “they run the risk of losing large parts of their audience forever”.

If delivered, the transformation will be most marked among Sky’s 300 senior managers, only three of whom are black, including the new chief talent, diversity and inclusion officer, Denise Peart. A quarter of the broadcaster’s on-screen talent and 17% of its comedy and drama writers are from minority ethnic backgrounds, while the proportion in senior production roles is 10%.

“Introducing these targets acknowledges that we have more work to do in ensuring our black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues are fairly represented at all levels,” said Peart. “Our focus will be on making systemic changes to ensure that we recruit, retain, develop and progress these colleagues, whilst holding ourselves accountable for meeting these targets.”

Lloyds is aiming for one in 10 of staff to be BAME, which is below the national figure of 14% of the population, Natwest wants to boost the proportion of staff in senior roles who are black from 1% to 3%, close to the national proportion, and Ernst and Young is aiming for 20% of its partners to be BAME by 2025. The UK government is aiming for 13.2% of new recruits to the senior civil service to be from a minority ethnic background by 2025, up from 5.6% in recent years.

Sandra Kerr, the race equality director of Business in the Community, said her organisation’s research had shown that BAME workers voiced higher levels of ambition to be promoted and to be fast-tracked than white counterparts and were more likely to have higher education qualifications. She said tackling race disparity in workforces boosted the economy, increased productivity and, in senior teams, improved decision-making by introducing more challenge to accepted norms.

“The killing of George Floyd has turbo-charged people,” she said. “It really made employers ask where the black people are around their tables. What a waste of talent. We need it more than ever if we are going to build back better.”

Karan Bilimoria, the president of the Confederation of British Industry, said: “Concerted company efforts to accelerate greater racial and ethnic participation – particularly at senior levels – are much needed across British business. What gets measured gets done. Setting stretching targets, as Sky have, alongside more measures to cultivate an inclusive company culture, will undoubtedly propel their progress forward faster.” | Newsphere by AF themes.