Due to direct immigration, globalization and other factors the UK has become a more diverse country over the last few decades. This change has led to a increase in diversity in the workplace, which in turn means a challenge has arisen for us to ensure there is equality for all in society and particularly at work.
Race equality means trying to make sure that there is equality between different ethnic groups within a society. A responsible society realises that people are different have and different needs, and that can be power imbalances within a society, where one group may be more disadvantaed that others.
With so many people from different backgrounds and cultures and ethnic groups now established in Britain, practises must be introduced to ensure that everyone is treated equally. In the UK this has been done primarily through the introduction of legislation and the promotion of good practise by employers. It should be noted that this legislation is not just about racism but also addresses discrimination and prejudice against women, disabled people, sexual orientation etc.
It is for the above reasons that many companies and public bodies now take seriously the concept of managing diversity and promoting equality of opportunity. In other countries equality and diversity issues are dealt with through affirmative action, although this policy is not universally supported and is controversial with certain people. Those in favour of this action point out that it is aimed at correcting imbalances and getting the maximum performance out of workers.
Equality can be taken to mean many different things, but one of the main one has to be not to be treated differently than anyone else. HR departments should work hard to promote and also enforce equality and fairness in the employment market so that there can be equal opportunities for all.
Research has shown that performance can be increased by actively helping disadvantaged BME groups within a workforce through diversity training of their colleagues and also awareness programmes. Inclusion and integration should always be viewed in a positive productive light.
Black and Minority Ethnic - BME