Britain’s Multicultural Workforce - BAME diversity in the UK

UK Making Major Headway In Equal Employment Opportunities, Research Shows

Using the latest government data, Expert Market has undertaken research into the representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups in business and found there has been a positive increase over the past two years in both employment and self employment.

The full breakdown of data can be found in the graphic below, but a summary of highlights includes:

  • BAME employment is rising up to 7x faster than it is in white groups
  • Largest employment growth is within the Black/African (16.8%) and Chinese (20.9%) communities
  • Gender equality is rising with huge employment growth for Bangladeshi (31.8%) and Black/African (20.4%) women
  • 23% fall in BAME unemployment
  • Average rise of 21.9% in BAME self-employment; biggest growth in Chinese men (+80%) and Indian women (+57%)




Our findings also highlight how BAME employment growth has coincided with a move away from lower skilled jobs in the manufacturing, construction and food service industries, and into more highly skilled and specialised roles within the Education, Financial and Scientific/Technical industries.

Likewise, there were huge rises in Ethnic Minority self-employment, with an average growth of 21.9%/. Amy Catlow, Director at Expert Market said:

"Though the results across the board are definitely positive, a substantial portion of progress seems to be down to entrepreneurialism rather than a shift in attitudes within existing businesses.

It’s important we see this as a positive improvement and keep working towards truly equal opportunities in all professions."

Amy Catlow, Director of Expert Market

Unemployment among BAME groups was shown to have fallen by almost 23% over a two-year period.

While this growth in employment and entrepreneurialism is definitely a step in the right direction for a country that prides itself on multicultural integration, there is still room for improvement.

This was echoed by influential entrepreneur and diversity ambassador, Mavis Amankwah, who said:

"It is really encouraging that there has been an increase of BAME employment levels especially in what would be deemed as ‘skilled jobs’. I believe this is partially due to the huge influx of BAME graduates.

However, despite how encouraging this is, there is still a pay gap between white graduates and black graduates. So, while as a society we have progressed and taken some steps in the right direction, we still have many more to take to eliminate discrimination."

- Mavis Amankwah, CEO of Rich Visions, Award Winning Entrepreneur, Diversity & Inclusion Expert

Recent reports highlight a prevalent pay gap between not only black and white workers, but between men and women too.

UK Ethnic Minority Workforce Diversity

Data Sources

The data from this project was collected from the British Government's Office of National Statistics (ONS). The figures were used or derived from:

  • A09: Labour market status by ethnic group
  • Labour market status by ethnic group: annual data to 2015

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