Challenger Shawbrook Bank, a provider of asset finance, has signed up to the Race at Work Charter, an initiative designed to improve outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees in the UK. 

The charter is an initiative of Business in the Community (BITC), a corporate social responsibility charity under the charitable umbrella of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. 

BITC said the specialist bank joins a growing list of more than 200 public, private and charitable organisations in signing up to the Charter which builds on the work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, ‘Race in the workplace’. 

The review found that people from BAME backgrounds were still underemployed, underpromoted and under-represented at senior levels.

The Race at Work Charter is designed to foster a public commitment to improving outcomes of BAME employees in the workplace. 

It consists of five principles to ensure organisations address the barriers to BAME recruitment and progression. 

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Organisations that sign up to the charter such as Shawbrook are publicly committing to:

  • Appointing an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capturing data and publicising progress
  • Ensuring zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Taking action that supports ethnic minority career progression

BITC’s 2018 Race at Work Scorecard report showed that:

  • There has been an increase in the number of workers from BAME background who report that they have witnessed or experienced racist harassment or bullying from customers or service users.
  • Despite being ambitious, over half of BAME employees still believe they will have to leave their current organisation to progress their career.
  • The proportion of managers who report that they have a performance objective to promote equality at work has fallen from 41% in 2015 to 32% in 2018.
  • Most significantly, employees have not reported any increase in the number of leaders demonstrating commitment and taking action since 2015.

Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community, said: “We would like to thank Shawbrook Bank 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.”

Shawbrook Bank

Julian Hynd, Shawbrook’s chief operating officer, has been appointed as the Bank’s Exec Sponsor for the RAWC. He will help drive actions through the Bank’s Diversity & Inclusion Working Group and employee inclusion network. 

He said: “I am extremely pleased that Shawbrook is now an official signatory of the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter.

“As an organisation, we’ve always firmly stood against any form of discrimination, victimisation and harassment but we want to go further and ensure we are positively tackling barriers and making sure our organisation is representative of our community.

“We believe each and every one of our colleagues brings unique talents and perspectives, and we want to ensure they feel supported, respected, have a voice and are able to develop skills and talents in line with our culture and values.

“Our aim is to foster a culture where Shawbrook employees can feel confident in bringing their whole self to work, feel included and see their talents nurtured so they can fully contribute when at work.

“As a Race at Work Charter signatory, we believe that this further shows our commitment to achieving that goal.”

Race at Work Charter signatories