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Reflections on racial justice and early careers recruitment

23 / 04 / 2021Fiona Doherty


Following the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests of 2020 and beyond, Group GTI has been exploring ways that student recruitment professionals can help to improve racial justice. There is clearly much to be done around this issue. In 2016, a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission reflected on how ‘entrenched and far-reaching race inequality remains’ in the UK, including the jobs market. Indeed, the latest publicly available Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data (for the academic year 2017/18) revealed that, six months after graduation, 6.3% of black, Asian and minority ethnic graduates were unemployed and not due to imminently start education or work, compared to 3.3% of white graduates.

In the midst of the BLM protests, our research business Cibyl commissioned a survey of nearly 1,000 students, asking how they felt about employers and racial justice. Strikingly, 86% of black respondents reported having personally experienced racism, compared to 12% of white respondents.

We were keen to further explore the points raised by our survey. As such, we formed two separate focus groups: one comprising black, Asian and minority ethnic students and recent graduates and, the other, big-name graduate employers. This paper is formulated from our discussions. Our aim is to continue the conversation around racial justice within the early careers market, capturing some of the challenges in engaging and recruiting students and graduates from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

To access the full white paper and our suggested framework for more diverse and inclusive hiring, simply fill in the form below.


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