Diversity and Inclusion Hub: Race and your Workplace


Every person, regardless of ethnicity or background, should be able to fulfil their potential at work. Employers who take action to support equal progression and participation in the workplace, across ethnicities, will grow their talent pool and address skill shortages in the process.

In the UK, too many individuals from an ethnic minority background still face discrimination and disadvantage when trying to get into and progress at work compared with their white British peers.

According to the McGregor-Smith Review (2017), the employment rate for black and minority ethnic (BME) groups is only 62.8% compared with an employment rate for White workers of 75.6%. This gap is even worse for some ethnic groups; for instance, the employment rate for those from a Pakistani or Bangladeshi background is only 54.9%.

Overall, about 1 in 8 of the working age population are from an ethnic minority background, yet these individuals make up only 10% of the workforce and hold only 6% of top management positions. The Parker Review (2016) of the ethnicity of UK boards found that only 85 of the 1,050 director positions in the FTSE 100 are held by directors of colour.

Addressing this issue is not just about tackling discrimination; it is also about boosting business performance. It is estimated the economy stands to gain an additional £24 billion if there was full representation and progression across ethnicities in the workplace.


All resources below have been recommended by AEO, AEV, and ESSA members. If you would like to submit a resource for consideration on Race And Your Workplace, including articles, videos, books, and/or films, please send it to us by clicking the button below. 

Submit a resource here

Tips for Being a Diverse Employer

Raphael Sofoluke

Events are still considered the most important marketing tool for a company. As we discuss and champion the importance of what we bring to the economy, we must acknowledge the pivotal role we play in our society. As a body that represents companies that conceive, create, develop or manage trade and consumer events, the AEO, AEV and ESSA are well positioned to make a difference to society, and lead the way for Diversity and Inclusion within the events industry.

Read the article here

Breaking the silence on race in the events industry

Meera Somji

Does speaking about race make you feel nervous? Do you get scared that you might say the wrong thing? 

Most likely, yes. Having interviewed almost twenty event professionals who are senior, junior, male, female, black, white, brown, South Asian, East Asian, mixed-race, in different parts of the UK, US, and in Dubai. The first thing that I learned is that it takes a bit of guts for anyone to start talking about race in the workplace.

Read the article here 

Race and Work in 2020: Combating Microaggressions and Bias in the Remote Workplace

Wharton Stories

In this first of seven installments in this series, Prof. Laura Morgan Roberts of The Darden School at University of Virginia joins Wharton’s Stew Friedman to discuss strategies organizations can implement to combat racism in the work-from-home environment.

Read the article here

Do Your Employees Know Why You Believe in Diversity?

Ruchika Tulshyan

When leaders communicate why they believe in diversity, align anti-bias initiatives with the organization’s strategic priorities, and do the tough work of identifying and fixing barriers within their organization, they’re more likely to get buy-in from a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.

Read the article here

The Colour of  Power

Green Park

Just 52 out of 1099 of the most powerful jobs in the country held by ethnic minority individuals. Despite public commitments from government, public bodies and businesses to increase diversity at leadership levels, progress has stalled over the last three years, according to the latest research from executive search and diversity consultancy Green Park.

Read the article here

How to Promote Racial Equity in the Workplace

Robert Livingstone

Many White people deny the existence of racism against people of colour because they assume that racism is defined by deliberate actions motivated by malice and hatred. However, racism can occur without conscious awareness or intent. When defined simply as differential evaluation or treatment based solely on race, regardless of intent, racism occurs far more frequently than most White people suspect.


The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

Erin Meyer

Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together.

Buy it here

Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools

Glenn E. Singleton

Create a systemwide plan for transforming the district office, schools, and classrooms into places that truly support ALL students achieving their highest levels! This updated edition of the bestseller continues to explain the need for candid, courageous conversations about race to understand why achievement inequality persists, and learn how to develop a curriculum that promotes true educational equity and excellence.

Buy it here

Reed Exhibitions Announces Ron Walden as Executive Sponsor for Race

Reed Exhibitions

Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with our Black and ethnic minority employees, customers, and partners, and we are committed to helping build a company and a world where everyone can live equitably, with dignity and free from fear.

Read the case study here

Q&A with Ron Walden, Executive Sponsor for Race

Reed Exhibitions

Ron Walden, US Group Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Activation, shares his thoughts on his recent appointment as Reed Exhibitions’ first Executive Sponsor for Race, and his vision for a more racially equal organisation.

Read the case study here

How To Make Your Workplace And Events More Inclusive

Hire Space

On Wednesday 28th October, the Hire Space Virtual Team kicked off Part 1 of EventLAB 2020 Online. This year marked the first time this event was held virtually and focused on Sustainability, Workplace Culture & Leadership. We welcomed some incredible speakers from across the industry to share their expert knowledge and advice across a range of discussions.

Read the case study here

Diversity & Inclusion in Advanced Therapies

Phacilitate Exchange

The purpose of this eBook is to not only celebrate the companies leading the way, but to inspire others on how they can take steps towards creating a more inclusive culture.

Read the case study here

Small Axe: Red, White and Blue (available until October 2021)


After seeing his father assaulted by police officers, a young black man is driven to join the force, with hopes of changing racist attitudes from within. He soon finds himself facing both his father's disapproval and racism in the ranks.

Watch here

Understanding Racism Within and Outside the Workplace


Like “second hand smoke” our research reveals that the harmful repercussions of racism extend well beyond the target to impact third-party bystanders in the workplace.

Watch here

Building anti-racist and compassionate workplaces


Black HR professionals share their lived experiences and talk about the change that is needed to combat workplace racism.

Watch here

Accelerating racial equality within the hospitality, food and drink sectors

Diversity Ally, The Podcast

In this episode, Diversity Ally speak about the importance of bridging the gap between education and getting into the workplace, as a key strategy to address the broken pipeline, and how using quantifiable measures is the key to identifying that you're moving towards your D&I goal.

Listen here

How Do We Tackle Racial Diversity In The Events Industry?

Diversity Ally, The Podcast

Do senior level execs really care about Diversity and Inclusion? Or Is it just lip service? This episode features the founders of Event First Steps to discuss the results of the global survey on tackling racial diversity in the events industry in collaboration with C&IT.

Listen here

Brand Purpose and Alignment When Tackling Racial Inequality (With Ryan Curtis-Johnson)

Diversity Ally, The Podcast

"2020 is not all about COVID - it's about listening to other people's voices instead and taking the power to change, in your own hands." Ryan Curtis-Johnson, Head of PR & Marketing at DRPG, talks about the importance of brand values and purpose being aligned with your diversity message.

Listen here


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    Danielle Worker
    Corporate Events Team Leader, Silverstone Circuits Ltd
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    Phil Wetz
    Retail & Catering Manager, ExCeL London
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    Paul Brough
    Venue Health & Safety Manager, Olympia London
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    Amir Vered
    Head of eForce and IT, Olympia London (Chair of Cross Association Technology WG)
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    Jazmin Beale
    Head of Marketing & Communications, Olympia London
  • “The AEV undertakes crucial work on behalf of event venues up and down the country to ensure our voice is heard. They reinforce the important role our sector plays in delivering economic impact, increasing trade, providing jobs and driving the visitor economy.”
    Lucy Merritt
    Head of Marketing and Communications, ExCeL London
  • AEV Membership is a key part of our business strategy; it has and will continue to be a core elements of our plan to support knowledge sharing in the industry and to develop both our team and the venue.
    Kate Vandenburg
    Marketing Director - Business Design Centre
  • Our team at ACC Liverpool feel indebted to the substantial work that the AEV do for our amazing industry. As the pillar association for venues across the country it’s a real privilege for our teams to participate in many of the working groups, learning and contributing to new processes which helps drive our industry forward on a national scale.
    Colm Graham
    Senior Exhibition Account Manager, ACC Liverpool
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    Mathew James
    Head of Brand, Telford International Centre
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    Charlie Hodgson
    Managing Director at The Kia Oval