Gympass commits to racial equality by signing the Race at Work Charter

Gympass, leader in corporate fitness solutions, has signed up to the Race at Work Charter, an initiative designed to improve outcomes for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees in the UK. Spearheaded by Business in the Community (BITC) in partnership with the government, The Business in the Community Race Equality Campaign has three key priority areas for action: leadership, progression and recruitment.

The BITC’s Race at Work Charter provides a framework for employers to take practical steps to ensure their workplaces are tackling barriers that ethnic minority people face. Designed to foster a public commitment to improving outcomes of BAME employees, it consists of five principles to which Gympass has publicly committed:

  • Appoint an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capture data and publicise progress
  • Ensure zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Make equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression

Gympass has appointed its CEO for UK/IE, Luke Bullen, as the Executive Sponsor for Race, to ensure guidance and support for its activity comes straight from the top of the organisation. “I freely admit that while we already operate a zero-tolerance on any racism and offer equal opportunities, there is much more we can do to improve our culture and processes here at Gympass in respect of diversity and inclusion,” says Luke. “As a signatory to the Race At Work Charter, we are able to access a wealth of resources and support to help guide our activity and communications to ensure we fulfil the five key principles.  Furthermore, as we work with a huge number of clients, employees, apps and gyms, we will seek to help others to influence lasting change.”

Gympass has already formed an internal focus group of 10 people in the UK to specifically address where the business currently stands with diversity, where it can improve and how it can lead the way for some of its partners. It has also endorsed the #MoveForCulture event and presented its first draft to the whole office.

“Our mission is to ‘Defeat Racism’ and promote this intent alongside our existing brand mission to defeat inactivity,” says Luke.  “We are absolutely committed to the rallying call to empower employers to accelerate change for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees in the workplace. As part of the rapidly-growing network of BITC partners from private and public sectors, we have all the tools in place to bring about this change,” he says. “However, in order to do that effectively, we must look at ourselves first and ensure our own principles are clear and appropriate.  With the support from the BITC and its partners, we are looking forward to playing our part in this vitally important campaign.”

The 2018 Race at Work Scorecard report by BITC shows there is still a need for concerted and consistent action from employers across the UK to improve outcomes for BAME employees. The report showed:

  • There has been an increase in the number of workers from BAME background who report that they have witnessed or experienced racist harassment or bullying from customers or service users.
  • Despite being ambitious, over half of BAME employees still believe they will have to leave their current organisation to progress their career.
  • The proportion of managers who report that they have a performance objective to promote equality at work has fallen from 41% in 2015 to 32% in 2018.

  • Most significantly, employees have not reported any increase in the number of leaders demonstrating commitment and taking action since 2015.

Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community, said: “We would like to thank Gympass for setting out its commitment to being an inclusive and responsible employer. By signing up to the charter they are showing that they aspire to have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the country. Together we can break down barriers in the workplace, raise the aspirations and achievements of talented individuals, and deliver an enormous boost to the long-term economic position of the UK.”

 

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