According to a report released on Wednesday by the Congress of Trade Unions, the trade union federation, 41% of these workers have “experienced racism at work in the last five years.” The TUC says this is the largest study ever done in the United Kingdom on this subject.
Among younger workers, the numbers are even more alarming. About 52% blacks, browns and minorities ethnic workers aged 25 to 34 reported experiencing racism during this period, and 58% of those aged 18 to 24 said the same.
Racist incidents have included eavesdropping on racist jokes, making stereotypes or comments about appearance, receiving racist remarks, or outright bullying and harassment.
For the report, researchers at Number Cruncher Politics conducted focus groups last year and interviewed 1,750 blacks, browns, and ethnic minorities. workers from February to May this year.
And nearly half of all black, brown and minority ethnic groups, or BMEs, said they “experienced at least one form of discrimination consistent with institutional racism.”
“This report lifts the veil on racism in the UK workplace. It sheds light on the vast extent of structural and institutional discrimination faced by BME workers,” said TUC Secretary General Frances O’Grady.
“Many told us that they were subjected to racist bullying, harassment – and even worse. And, alarmingly, the vast majority did not report this to their employer,” she added.
Responding to the report, Matthew Percival, Director of Skills and Inclusion at the Confederation of British Industries, said that “data show that more needs to be done to address the issue of racial and ethnic equality in society. Companies must do their best. create an inclusive workplace and fight discrimination.”
Percival added that the CBI encourages companies to report ethnic pay gaps and set clear targets to improve BME participation in leadership roles.
A UK government spokesman said: “Our Inclusive Action Plan for the UK sets out plans to build a more just and inclusive society, including promoting fairness in the workplace and taking action to close the ethnic pay gap.”