Structural changes are needed to increase the ethnic diversity and end racial discrimination in the Irish labour market, according to a new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
Published earlier this month, it found clear and consistent evidence of disadvantage towards ethnic minorities, particularly among those who are not Irish citizens and are born abroad. The report also surveyed international evidence on the best ways to measure and combat racially-based workplace discrimination, and to promote ethnic diversity in the workplace.
Fórsa official Andy Pike welcomed the research, and said employers should do more to ensure that racial discrimination and racial bias are eliminated from Irish workplaces.
“It’s no surprise that the ERSI found that a range of different measures are needed to combat racial discrimination in the workplace. Racism is often hidden from view, which means it can be difficult to prove that decisions on recruitment or promotion are tainted by racial bias,” he said.
Andy said this placed an undue responsibility on victims of discrimination to prove their case in the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) or the courts.
“The ERSI rightly highlights the need to ensure that Irish employers make structural changes like introducing transparent recruitment and promotion procedures and engaging with their management teams on the need for diversity training with the aim of increasing the proportion of the workforce from ethnic minorities and non-white Irish backgrounds,” he said.
The ESRI points to evidence that suggests employers can implement a range of measures to improve diversity in the workplace. It found that voluntary measures, including taking part in diversity training, were more effective than compulsory measures.
It said organisational campaigns had been effective in targeting specific groups like older people, and that a similar approach could help combat racial discrimination.
Read the ESRI report HERE.
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