The Race at Work Charter
Cadent has joined over 570 employers and become the first UK gas distribution network to sign up to the Race at Work Charter, an initiative designed to improve outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic employees in the UK.
Launched in partnership with the UK government in 2018, the Race at Work Charter builds on the work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, which found that people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds were still underemployed, underpromoted and under-represented at senior levels.
The Charter consists of five ‘calls to action’:
Appoint an Executive Sponsor for Race
Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress
Commit at Board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
Make clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders and managers
Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression
By signing the Charter, Cadent joins a community of signatories across a wide range of sectors in the UK, who are committed to embedding the five calls to action in everyday business.
Research carried out by Business in the Community in 2020 on the second anniversary of the landmark Race at Work Charter launch revealed:
76% of employers say that action on race recruitment and progression is a strategic priority but only 46% have set targets to improve the racial diversity of their boards.
99% of employers have a clear zero-tolerance policy on racial harassment and bullying but only 38% of employers have commissioned a review into bullying and harassment in the workplace – down from 45% in 2019.
The government sponsored McGregor-Smith review found that greater progress and positive outcomes are needed to ensure all organisations benefit from the wealth of diverse talent on offer.
Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community, said:
“We would like to thank Cadent for setting out their commitment to being an inclusive and responsible employer. By signing up to the charter, they are showing that they aspire to have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the country. Together we can break down barriers in the workplace, raise the aspirations and achievements of talented individuals and deliver an enormous boost to the long-term economic position of the UK.”
Signing the Charter builds on Cadent’s work over the past year, which includes recruiting a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Manager and Executive Sponsor for D&I. The organisation has also developed a suite of employee-led communities to represent different strands of diversity including ethnicity, faith, gender and sexual orientation. These groups are empowered to drive meaningful conversation and ensure the business meets the needs of its employees.
The guiding principle of the week’s Race Equality Week (2021) was “No Words Without Action”. Cadent recognises that leaders must take visible action to increase diversity and create a truly inclusive working environment.
Ranjit Blythe, Executive Sponsor for Diversity & Inclusion, Cadent, said, “With the Race at Work Charter, we are holding ourselves accountable for ensuring equal opportunities for people of all ethnicities. We’re proud of the work that’s already underway to make Cadent an increasingly inclusive environment for all, and we’re committed to going further with each passing day.”
Steve Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, Cadent, added, “I’m proud of the wealth of talent that makes up our organisation, and I’m passionate about ensuring we do more to develop a workforce that represents our communities. We know that by fully harnessing a range of personal experiences and diverse perspectives, we can be more innovative and deliver a truly exceptional service to our customers. Signing the Charter is the latest step in our journey, and makes our commitment to racial equality visible to our colleagues, customers, stakeholders and communities.”