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One-third see discrimination in hospitality

A new report by not-for-profit Be Inclusive Hospitality has found that one in three respondents have experienced discrimination while working in the sector.

More than 80% of respondents at the director level have witnessed discriminatory behaviours

The third edition of the Inside Hospitality Report 2023 report surveyed 3,120 hospitality workers across the UK.

The data was collected between 31 January to 31 March 2023. The topics explored within this report include careers in hospitality; culture and leadership; lived experience; and training and education.

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.”

The report has found that one-in-three overall have ‘witnessed and experienced’ discrimination at work.

For Black and Asian respondents who answered ‘yes’ to witnessing discriminatory behaviour, 62.4% of Asian and 62.6% of Black respondents cite racial bias as the most prevalent form of discrimination.

Furthermore, 84.1% of respondents at the director level have seen discriminatory behaviours.

Higher proportions of respondents in nightclubs, pubs and bars report experiencing and witnessing discrimination, with 43% saying they have ‘low levels of confidence’ in the company’s ability to address discrimination in the workplace; this is especially the case for ethnic minorities.

Only 52.4% of participants who encountered discriminatory behaviour in their workplace had the ‘opportunity’ to report this.

Meanwhile, a third of respondents who did file a complaint were satisfied with the handling of this complaint.

Varying contracts

The report also found that Black respondents were more likely to be on zero-hour contracts, while Asian workers are most likely to be on part-time contracts.

In addition, 44.2% of Asian respondents have a length of service of under six months.

Black and mixed race respondents have worked in the sector for longer periods.

Despite this, higher proportions of ethnic minority groups are more likely to hold entry-level positions and earn the least.

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

Jennifer Ravalli, Harri chief marketing officer, said: “Harri is proud to represent a client base as diverse as our teams and believes strongly in the Be Inclusive Hospitality initiative. Having helped power this year’s report, it is our hope that the findings continue to spark positive changes across the hospitality sector as we move toward a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive future.”

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