Review by Baroness McGregor-Smith on the Issues Faced by Businesses in Developing Black and Minority Ethnic Talent: Call for Evidence

Closed 22 Aug 2016

Opened 10 May 2016


The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills asked me to lead an independent review to look at the obstacles faced by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) individuals when trying to progress at work. Given the importance of this issue, I welcomed the opportunity to find out why people from BME backgrounds don’t progress in their careers in the same way as their white counterparts.

The challenge is significant: we have to make sure that people who have the right skills get the opportunity to compete for, and obtain, the right job, no matter what their background.

The review aims to:

  1. Build further the business case for change – what benefits do companies and society get from accessing the widest pool of talent available?
  2. Identify the barriers BME groups can face as they progress through the labour market – why does educational attainment and ability not always match up to position in a company?
  3. Identify the impact that these barriers have on individuals, companies and the wider economy.
  4. Bring together existing data to illustrate the scale of the issue as well as looking in more depth – are experiences different for different ethnicities, how much is about economic circumstance as well as ethnicity?
  5. Find and present best practice. Here we need to consider also, how to replicate the work that many large, well-resourced companies have done in this area, and spread this success to our SMEs as well.
  6. Lastly, and most importantly, the review will make cost–effective recommendations to advance BME progression in the labour market.


And we would welcome your views to shape this important work. We are looking for contributions from individuals, employers, representative bodies, academics, researchers, think tanks and any other organisation or person who has an interest in this vital area.

I thank you for taking the time to complete this survey and contributing to this important debate.

Baroness McGregor-Smith, May 2016


How you can take part

This Call for Evidence is the main way that organisations and individuals can share their views, evidence and insights. Everything submitted to the Call for Evidence will be read.

Baroness McGregor-Smith wants to hear from individuals, businesses and other organisations with views on the barriers to BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) progression.



  • SMEs (small and medium businesses)
  • Large businesses (over 250 staff)
  • Multinational businesses
  • Business journalists
  • Trade bodies
  • Legal representative
  • Medium business (50 to 250 staff)
  • Micro business (up to 9 staff)
  • Small business (10 to 49 staff)
  • Trade union or staff association
  • Employment lawyers
  • Employment advisers
  • Businesses
  • Individual employees
  • HR professionals
  • HR organisations
  • Charities
  • Local government
  • Charity or social enterprise
  • Central government
  • Individual
  • Regulator


  • Workplace rights