Barriers to employment and progression for young Black Britons

By Savanta

Despite the reach and prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement, racism and workplace barriers are still experienced by a large number of young Black employees in the UK.

Savanta worked with EY and the EY Foundation to conduct a survey to explore the barriers to entry, and progression within employment for young Black people, aged 16-30 in the UK

Racism is widespread in the workplace

We asked young Black people in a job if they had experienced racism in a range of work-related situations. Around four in ten respectively, said that they had experienced racism at the recruitment stage (42%) and the interview stage (39%). Further to this, once young Black people were in roles, racism was experienced by even higher proportions. When it comes to being promoted (52%) and when engaging with customers or people external to the organisation (55%) were the most likely work-related areas where racism was experienced.

There are perceived barriers to entering careers in certain sectors due to their ethnic background

Further to this we asked whether young Black people thought that their ethnic background could make it more difficult to enter certain careers in the UK, and if so, which sectors were seen to have these barriers. Law (28%) and Accounting, Banking and Finance (27%) are sectors perceived to have the greatest barriers to enter careers in for young Black people. Law Enforcement and Security (17%), and Business Consulting (17%) are joint third most likely to be seen as presenting barriers to entry.

As a result, young Black people might not even choose linked subjects at university or decide to apply for jobs within these sectors. While many sectors are currently working on being more open and appealing to young Black people, there are clearly some that will need to work harder than others. Worryingly, a further 8% say that all the sectors are more difficult to enter due to their ethnicity.

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