Race in the workplace – where are we headed?
Across the sectors, it is essential for organisations to attract and retain talent that reflects the global marketplace in which we all operate, in order to deliver innovation and diverse perspectives. Despite evidence showing the imperatives around this, BAME representation at a senior level continues to be low across the UK economy.
Whilst many organisations have taken significant steps to address this, there is still a long way to go. Practitioners continue to report challenges around acknowledgement of the problem, a reluctance to accept the need to act, and consequently put appropriate measures in place. In the words of the Ruby McGregor Smith review, which produced a report on race in the workplace, ‘the time for talking is over and the time to act is now’.
Join us to hear a cross-sector perspective on race and latest thinking on how to lead and action improvements on ethnic minority progression. We will hear from Rukasana Bhaijee from EY, who will be able to provide latest thinking both within EY and their broad client base. Joining Rukasana is Rob Neil, founding member of the Ministry of Justice BAME Staff network and the first elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum, giving insight from across the public sector.
About the Speakers
Rukasana Bhaijee, EY
Rukasana is a Diversity and Inclusion (“D&I”) Senior Manager at EY. Rukasana works within People Advisory Services supporting client organisations to achieve their D&I ambitions through providing support at all levels of D&I maturity. Rukasana has previously worked at EY to deliver the organisational ambitions for D&I internally and led on change programmes to advance outcomes for minority groups. Rukasana has been at EY since March 2015 and has had a specialist focus on the Gender, Race & Disability agendas. Her previous D&I role was within the Diversity team at Queen Mary University London, focusing on Gender Diversity to increase the number of women progressing in academia, specifically in STEM subjects. Prior to this Rukasana has worked in the financial sector at J P Morgan Chase and the Bank of England with a focus on Currency Markets.
Rob Neil, Department for Education
Rob joined the Ministry of Justice [then Lord Chancellors Department] in Oct 1983 – starting at Willesden County Court in North London.
Rob progressed to Deputy Court Manager before joining the South Eastern Circuit I.T. Team. In 1998 Rob landed his dream job with Corporate HR as a Development Trainer. Rob studied at the Civil Service College for two years, gaining a Certificate in Training Practice [CTP] and is now a member of CIPD.
Rob was a founding member of the MoJ’s BAME Staff network in 2001, namely P.R.O.U.D. Later in that same year, Rob became the first elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Equality Network [CSREN] – known today as CSRF – the Civil Service Race Forum.
Rob led the design, recruitment and launch of the Engagement Champions Network in 2008. As MoJ’s Head of Engagement Networks Rob was responsible for the development of Employee Engagement Champions [EECs] across the MoJ. This pioneering network now boasts over x1000 people across the entire MoJ Family – including; Courts, Tribunals, Prisons and the Legal Aid Agency.
In April 2016 Rob was included in the ‘New View 50’ which recognises influential Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) professionals in the public sector.
In May 2016 Rob was chosen to lead the MoJ’s Race Project – an inward facing programme of work aimed at supporting the MoJ’s published Diversity & Inclusion objectives and turning the dial on race equality.
In September 2016 Rob was elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum. The Civil Service Race Forum [CSRF] is an umbrella network of BAME Staff Networks across the civil service made up of over 30 Government departments, reaching over 6,000 BAME civil servants working at all levels. Rob ended his one year tenure as Chair of CSRF in January 2018 and remains a member the CSRF Executive Committee as Non-Executive Director . Rob now chairs the MoJ’s Diverse Leaders Taskforce in support of the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. After 35yrs at the MoJ, Rob moved to the Department for Education in April 2019 to work as a Strategic Delivery Leader of their Digital, Data and Technology functions.
Rob has been a Trustee with RELATE for ten years and also volunteers as the Social Media Director with the Reach Society.
Rob was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list for ‘Services to Race Equality in the workplace and the community’ and received his gong from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in May 2018. Later in the same year Rob became the inaugural winner of Investing in Ethnicity’s Workplace Hero Award in November 2018 before successfully graduating from the Civil Service Future Leaders Scheme in January 2019.