While 68 per cent of Black Canadians said their employers have made progress on promises to be more equitable and inclusive for Black employees, only 35 per cent believe their prospects for advancement have improved, according to a new survey by KPMG in Canada.
The survey, which polled about 1,000 Black Canadians, found just 19 per cent were offered a job they wouldn’t have been offered 18 months ago. While 58 per cent said their employer is making genuine efforts to promote more Black Canadians into leadership roles, 20 per cent said their employer has taken no action on inclusivity and 12 per cent said their employers’ promises on inclusivity are simply lip service.
While 74 per cent of Black Canadians said they feel valued and respected in the same way as their non-Black colleagues, 70 per cent feel they have to work harder than their non-Black peers to earn that same respect. However, 66 per cent said their employer has made efforts to engage more Black-owned businesses and vendors over the last 18 months, while 64 per cent said their employer has improved its goods and services offerings for Black customers.
And while 44 per cent of Black Canadians said they haven’t experienced any micro-aggressions or acts of racism at work over the last 18 months, nearly a third said they’ve continued to experience these incidents and 14 per cent said micro-aggressions and racism at work have increased.
When asked about potential solutions to further reduce anti-Black racism in the workplace, 84 per cent of respondents said they want their employers to make stronger commitments and establish targets for hiring and promoting more Black Canadians with clear and measurable outcomes and accountability mechanisms.
Respondents also called for more anti-racism education and training for employees and managers (83 per cent), as well as for senior leadership teams to “walk the walk” (82 per cent) and for human resources to prioritize the reduction of anti-Black racism (81 per cent). Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) said a major culture change is needed at their employer and 54 per cent called for the replacement of their employer’s senior leadership team.