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Society signs up to Race at Work Charter

Date published: 7 February 2023

Read time: 3 minutes

Newcastle Building Society's Cobalt offices.

Our commitment to fostering inclusion and positive change at work and in our communities.

Joining over 900 employers across the UK, we have signed up to the Race at Work Charter, developed by Business in the Community (BITC), to improve equal opportunities for ethnically diverse employees in the UK.

The Race at Work Charter builds on the findings from BITC’s 2021 Race at Work Survey, which found that while 76% of employers said that race recruitment and progression was a priority, only 46% had set targets to improve the racial diversity of their boards.

Percentage of employers that said race recruitment and progression is a priority


Percentage of employers that set targets to improve the racial diversity of their boards


The survey also found that whilst 99% of employers have a zero-tolerance policy on racial harassment and bullying, Black, Asian, Mixed Race and ethnically diverse employees are twice as likely than White employees to have experienced or witnessed racist harassment from managers, customers, clients, and colleagues.

The Race at Work Charter calls on businesses to:

  • Appoint an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capture data and publicise progress
  • Ensure zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Make equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression
  • Support race inclusion allies in the workplace
  • Include Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse-led enterprise owners in supply chains

Launched in 2018, the Race at Work Charter builds on the work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, which found that people from Black, Asian, Mixed Race and ethnically diverse backgrounds are still underemployed, underpromoted and under-represented at senior levels.

Sandra Kerr CBE, race director, Business in the Community, said: “We would like to thank Newcastle Building Society for publicly committing to be an inclusive and responsible employer. By signing up to the Charter, they are joining over 900 businesses who are working together so that the UK can have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the world. By taking collective action, we can break down workplace barriers, raise the aspirations and achievements of talented individuals regardless of their ethnicity and deliver an enormous boost to the long-term economic position of the UK.”

Stuart Miller, chief customer officer and executive sponsor for race at Newcastle Building Society, said: “Fostering inclusion and positive change at work and in our communities is one of our business’s strategic priorities and we are therefore committed to developing a workforce that represents and reflects the make up of our communities.

“We know that only by fully harnessing a range of personal experiences and diverse perspectives, we can continue to deliver a truly exceptional service to our customers. Signing the Charter is the latest step on our journey, and it makes our commitment to racial equality visible to our colleagues, customers, partners and communities.”

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