Racism at Work
October 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Race Relations Amendment Act 1968 which outlawed, among other things, racial discrimination in employment.
Yet racism remains a widespread and endemic feature of everyday working life for many people in Britain. The project draws attention to the nature, scale and human impact of workplace racism.
We have worked in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to produce the 'Racism Ruins Lives' report, we have also produced a user's guide consisting of statistics and tables which highlights the main quantitative findings from the survey. We hope that the document will be of use to trade unionists and equality practitioners more broadly as they seek to challenge workplace racism.
Prior to this, we provided a qualitative analysis of Business in the Community's 'Race at work' survey in the form of an 'Equality, Diversity and Racism in the Workplace' report.
Building on these, an ESRC Impact Accelerator Account grant enabled us to turn the main findings into a series of posters, graphic novels and short films.
Using the words of the people who participated in the 'Race at Work' survey, the outputs aim to highlight the persistent and entrenched nature of workplace racism, as well as effective strategies for addressing the issue.
We are currently working on producing a series of training activities and zine which will build on the short films, posters and graphic novels.
For more information, contact Dr Stephen Ashe.
Racism Ruins Lives: An analysis of the 2016-2017 Trade Union Congress Racism at Work survey
- Read the full report.
- Read the executive summary.
- Read the user's guide to the quantitative findings.
- Listen to Stephen Ashe provide an overview of the report’s main findings.
Equality, diversity and racism in the workplace: A qualitative analysis of the 2015 Race at Work Survey
Short pieces and blogs
- ‘On Employment’ (with Georgie Wemyss, in Migration, Racism and the Hostile Environment: Making the Case for the Social Sciences, 2020)
- Podcast – Trade unions and Workplace racism (Surviving Society, 2019)
- 'Why I'm talking to white trade unionists about racism' (2019, Open Democracy).
- ‘Antisemitism at Work in the UK: Ignorance and Denial’ (2019, Monitor – Global Intelligence on Racism, co-authored with James Renton).
- 'Increasing economic opportunity or bolstering racial neoliberalism? A response to the Integrating Communities Green Paper' (2018, Discover Society).
- 'Why Russell Howard was wrong about workplace racism' (2018, Commonspace).
- ‘The 2018 University Strike, the TUC’s Racism at Work Survey and Hegemony in Higher Education’ (2018, The Sociological Review).
- 'Racism. work. Brexit. Empire' (2018, Discover Society).
- 'Why it is time for racism at work to be addressed as a matter of health and safety' (2018, Policy@Manchester).
- 'Why don't we just... stamp out workplace racism?' (2016, Big Issue).
- 'Racism and work still persist; time for urgent action' (2016, Policy@Manchester).
Watch the videos
The short films highlight some of the main findings from the 2015 Race at Work Survey, and subsequent participant interviews, commissioned by Business in the Community.
The graphic novels explore some of the main findings from the Race at Work survey.
They focus on the way that racism is all too often dismissed as ‘banter’ and the way in which survey participants were either greeted with managerial indifference or were told that the ‘customer is always right’ when trying to challenge racism in the workplace.
They also highlight the impact that racism had on the survey participants’ emotional and psychological wellbeing, as well as making direct reference to the different ‘coping mechanisms’ and sources of supporting those survey participants deployed and made use of when confronted with racism at work.
Download the comic 'Addressing racism in the workplace'. Artwork by Paul Gent.
Download the comic 'Racist banter is not a laughing matter'. Artwork by Paul Gent.
Download the comic 'The customer isn't always right'. Artwork by Paul Gent.
Download the comic 'Racism is not water off a duck's back'. Artwork by Paul Gent.