Sadiq Khan urges employers and businesses to embed anti-racist practices as he declares City Hall an actively anti-racist body

FILE PHOTO: London Mayor Sadiq Khan (Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Brent London Borough of Culture)
FILE PHOTO: London Mayor Sadiq Khan (Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Brent London Borough of Culture)

LONDON MAYOR Sadiq Khan declared City Hall a committedly anti-racist organisation on Tuesday(13), and urged employers and businesses to do more to embed anti-racist practices in their operations and culture.

He also unveiled a toolkit which offers practical guidance to businesses to help diversify their workforce and foster a truly inclusive workplace culture.

The mayor said that the makeup of too many organisations in the capital, especially at their highest levels, fails to present a true picture of modern London.

“Your background, gender and ethnicity should have no bearing on what you can achieve which is why part of becoming actively anti-racist involves acknowledging the fact systemic racism remains pervasive across society,” said Khan.

“In declaring City Hall an actively anti-racist body, I am proud to share this toolkit with London’s business community. Helping them strengthen their workforce through the enrichment diversity brings and building a more resilient capital with genuine inclusivity at its core.”

The City Hall along with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, (MOPAC) has pledged to launch an organisational-wide cultural change programme underpinned by an independent review into the structural barriers that prevent black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and specifically Black progression.

The Mayor is committed to setting targets by gender and ethnicity for the proportion of Black male and female staff across the GLA and MOPAC, and specifically the senior leadership teams to, reflect the wider London working-age population.

According to data, one in five men in the capital is black, but black men are significantly more likely to experience unemployment than their white counterparts, with 33 per cent of black men out of work compared to 15 per cent of white men.

Besides, black graduate unemployment stands at 13 per cent compared to just 4 per cent for white graduates.

The City Hall has been working hard to ensure that equality is a key part of its work, and is already reporting on its ethnicity pay gap and developing a pioneering action plan to close it.

It also offers Covid-19 risk assessments across the GLA family including for colleagues from BAME backgrounds and working to increase the trust and confidence of London’s black communities in the Metropolitan Police Service through the Mayor’s forthcoming action plan.

The new inclusive employers’ toolkit builds on the work of the Mayor’s workforce integration network (WIN) launched in 2018 to tackle disproportionate levels of unemployment among young black men while seeking to improve access to sectors such as construction and technology where they are typically underrepresented.

It offers practical guidance for companies to review their processes in areas such as commitment, engagement and recruitment, retention and progression and suppliers.

“It’s not right that black men in London experience more unemployment than white men. Employers across London can help address these disparities. The WIN ‘inclusive employers toolkit’ supports companies to improve the recruitment, retention and progression of young black men within the workplace,” said Sioned Churchill, director of grants at trust for London.