EquiBalance – working for equality of employment for all
Written by EquiBalance team, Employment Works
Over the past 40 years, the makeup of the UK labour market has changed dramatically, with the proportion of the working age population coming from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background having increased. However, this is often not reflected in the workplace.
Significant differences in employment outcomes exist for black and minority ethnic groups compared to their white counterparts. The employment rate for BME groups is 62.8% compared to 75.6% for white workers – a gap of over 12 percentage points. BME individuals are more likely to work in lower paying occupations and there is a particular lack of ethnic diversity in top positions, with black employees holding just 1.5% of senior leadership roles.
The underemployment of people from BME backgrounds lies in part due to a lack of opportunities, the absence of role models who can provide support and advice, and gaps between equality and diversity policies and practices in the workplace.
The EquiBalance project is a collaboration between ELBA and Barings, which aims to address the stark imbalances in employment outcomes for young men and women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and the underrepresentation of BME individuals in the corporate sector.
The programme works with students aged 16-18 years old from black and/or minoritised groups attending various London colleges. Through a series of workshops, mentorships and enriching work placements, we aim to raise their aspirations and equip them with the knowledge, skills and experience to achieve their ambitions.
Young people on the programme will take part in four workshops run by industry professionals, enabling them to explore career options within the corporate sector and develop key employability skills. They also have access to mentorships, industry insights and professional networking opportunities.
The programme culminates in an opportunity to undertake a paid work placement for a minimum of 1 week within the corporate sector, including financial services, legal or insurance services. This provides valuable insight into the world of work and enables young people to gain real-life experience of their chosen career field.
If you are a young person living in London who is aged 16-18 and from a black or minoritised ethnic background, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about this fantastic opportunity!