Dr Miranda Brawn believes it’s time for UK businesses to stand up and be counted on their efforts to address racial diversity. In conversation with Michael Hayman on last night’s Capital Conversation, the diversity campaigner says that despite the positive rhetoric, business leaders are still struggling to have their workplaces look like the outside world.
“I was frustrated at the lack of action around racial diversity in the workforce. It’s the elephant in the room.
She adds, “London is probably the most diverse city in the world – from an ethnic perspective especially – but when you go into the workplace that isn’t reflected, certainly not at the highest senior levels.”
This led her to establish The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation, in a bid to develop future leaders from BAME communities. While Miranda has gone to the impressive length of putting her name behind an initiative, she says there are other ways to make an impact: “You don’t need to be an activist to help make a change. It’s a case of talking about it, with a friend, family, a neighbour, or a colleague at work.”
Miranda adds that societal divides are not closing and businesses are missing out on a big opportunity – one estimate is £24bn worth of economic potential goes wasted each year because of a lack of representation. She explains, “Diversity is not just morally the right thing to do, it makes economic sense.”
You can watch the full episode here.