As part of Black History Month, we’re highlighting top employers who have made a solid commitment to BAME inclusion in their workforce – including tips on how BAME candidates can stand out when applying for jobs with these firms.
It’s no secret that BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) workers are underrepresented in the UK workforce. BAME people make up 14% of the population but currently account for only 6% of employees at FTSE 100 companies. This means that BAME individuals face significant barriers to career progression and increasing their earnings potential. There are however lots of employers in the UK that are working hard to change this, and ensure jobseekers for all communities are provided with an equal chance.
BAE Systems is the UK’s largest aerospace and defence company, employing over 80,000 people worldwide. BAE has made a commitment to BAME inclusivity through their ‘2020’ diversity campaign, which aims to have 20% of its global workforce comprising BAME employees by 2020.
BT is one of Europe’s leading providers of telecommunications services, with around £19bn revenue each year. It was recently named among Diversity Journal’s top 50 “most inclusive employers for LGBT+ talent” – an accolade that they are continuing to build on, having recently been ranked 24th in Stonewall’s 2018 Workplace Equality Index (WEI).
The London Underground is the oldest and one of the busiest metro systems in the world. In 2017/18, London Underground was ranked as having Britain’s most diverse workforce in The 2020 Challenge Index: BAME in UK workplaces (2018).
Marks & Spencer
M&S is a British multinational retailer with over 800 stores across the UK and internationally. They have made efforts to recruit BAME employees both domestically and globally – for example through their ‘International Internships Programme’ which offers BAME candidates from around Europe work experience within M&S Head Office roles such as Merchandising, Buying or IT functions.
As an international bank, HSBC has locations worldwide that provide them with increased access to BAME talent beyond traditional BAME communities. They have implemented BAME Career Development Awards which provide BAME employees with up to £1500 of funding towards securing training or qualifications that will help them progress their careers.
The British Library
As the UK’s national library, they are committed to representing BAME audiences and ensuring BAME people benefit equally from all services offered by The British Library – including employment opportunities within their teams.
3 Quick tips for BAME candidates applying for jobs:
- Ensure your application is tailored specifically to meet the requirements of each role you apply for; don’t just include generic skills/attributes in every resume – this won’t impress recruiters!
- Be clear about any career development support available at an organisation when looking for a new role – it’s possible BAME employees may have less access to this than BAME applicants.
- Don’t assume you won’t get the job because of your ethnicity; BAME representation in organisations is increasing due to initiatives such as these, so don’t be afraid and apply for jobs with employers committed to BAME inclusion!
Black History Month provides a fantastic opportunity for everybody to recognise the outstanding contributions people from Africa and the Caribbean have made throughout history.
If you identify as BAME and want to know more about the BAME employment gap, head over to our guide.