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1 in 3 report discrimination at work finds Be Inclusive Hospitality

Published:  21 June, 2023

The not-for-profit Be Inclusive Hospitality marked the release of the third Inside Hospitality Report with a launch event at The Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane on Monday June 19.

Among the headline findings, and perhaps most alarming of all, was that one in three respondents report personal experiences of discrimination at work, with a higher proportion being at the director level.

Be Inclusive Hospitality launched the third Inside Hospitality Report, having collected over 3,000 responses in the annual nationwide survey. Self-selecting anonymous views and experiences have been collected from hospitality people from all backgrounds and career levels with a focus on ‘equity, diversity, and inclusion’. 

The 2023 report and survey is sponsored by the frontline employee experience platform, Harri and delivered in partnership with Ulster University and the University of West London.

The only report of its kind produced in the UK, this year's themes are ‘careers in hospitality, leadership & culture, lived experience and training’.

Other significant findings reveal optimism from all respondents with 83.8% agreeing that the sector offers good career opportunities. However, the report also found that white respondents were more likely to hold managerial positions, earn more money and occupy full-time employment more than any other ethnic group.

Furthermore, black respondents are more likely to be on zero-hour contracts, and Asian respondents are most likely to be on part-time contracts.

In terms of discriminatory behaviour, both black and Asian respondents cited racial bias as the main reason (62%), followed by gender and 40.3% of respondents do not trust or have a low level of trust in the company's ability to address discrimination in the workplace.

Perhaps one reason for this might be the low attendance rates of CEOs and founders at equity, diversity and inclusion workshops (22.64%), despite a high appetite to attend such workshops (62.26%).

As a result, the report has outlined recommendations that hospitality leaders should take. 

Lorraine Copes, founder and CEO of Be Inclusive Hospitality said: “Over the last three years, we have seen the number of respondent numbers increase from over 300 in 2020 to over 3,000 today. I believe that this increase positively marks a growth in awareness and support for the work that we do.  What is concerning is that the results surrounding discrimination, education at all levels, and the building of trust have remained stagnant. With this robust data set, my hope is that leaders now take heed and take action.”

Professor Ioannis S. Pantelidis of Ulster University added: “It has been a privilege to work with colleagues from Be Inclusive Hospitality and the University of West London in the preparation of this report which we hope provides insights into such important issues for the hospitality industry. I am grateful for the support of so many participants, well over 3000, which goes to show that there is a thirst to contribute and help bring a positive change towards a more inclusive hospitality industry.”

The second edition of the report, launched in April 2022, collected over 1,000 responses. The 2022 report saw worryingly high levels of workplace racism, hindered career advancement opportunities, and a notable absence of educational workshops accessible in the workplace.

The 2023 report is available to download here