Study finds two in five Black and Minority Ethnic workers reported experiencing racism at work in the last five years.

Our service users have told us of the everyday racism they experience. Many Black and Minority Ethnic workers continue to experience everyday racism at work, including harassment and racist bullying. This is impacting on the confidence and mental health of many Black and Minority Ethnic workers and is forcing some to leave their jobs.

The Trades Union Congress, in the largest representative poll ever conducted on the experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic people at work, found 40% of Black and Minority Ethnic workers have experienced racism in the last five years.

Of those workers who had experienced racism, 35% reported that the most recent incident of racism left them feeling less confident at work, and 31% reported that the incident had a negative impact on their mental health. 8% of workers left their job as a result of the racism they experienced.

Most alarmingly, only 19% of those who had experienced harassment reported the most recent incident to their employer. Of those incidents reported to employers, only 32% were taken seriously. Of those who didn’t report incidents of harassment to their employers, 44% said they didn’t think the issue would be taken seriously, 26% said they were worried that it would impact on working relationships with colleagues and 19% feared they would be treated worse by their employer if the incident was reported.

Young Black and Minority Ethnic workers (18-24) were significantly more likely to experience racist jokes or banter (40% compared to 27% among all Black and Minority Ethnic workers).

Whilst we know that racism in the workplace is a UK wide issue, the communities we work with tell us that racism is common in Wales. As Vaughan Gething, the Economy Minister, recently claimed Wales has gone backwards on racial equality over the past decade.

At Diverse Cymru, we are helping workplaces to challenge their unconscious bias and to develop their cultural competence. Through our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Cultural Competence Certification Scheme, we are working with workplaces to reduce disparities and inequalities. As Wales’ only Cultural Competence Certification Scheme, we work with organisations and workplaces to ensure their services across Wales are culturally accessible and competent.

We also offer mental health support to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people experiencing mental ill health in Wales. Our wellbeing hub for Black Asian and Ethnic Minority communities provides one to one mental health support and an online community that creates pathways to better mental health. Through recovery based holistic methods, we support individuals with their recovery in the community. Recently, we have seen an increase in people accessing our counselling service that have been racially abused or discriminated against in their workplaces. Mental ill health can be caused or exacerbated by events such as racism in the workplace so it is incredibly important that this problem is tackled.

We are fully committed to supporting Wales to become an Anti-Racist Nation by 2030 and are forever working to create a nation without prejudice or discrimination, where every person is equal and diversity is celebrated.