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Be Inclusive Hospitality’s Inside Hospitality Report Launch

By Frankie Fitch-Bunce

On Tuesday 26th of April, Be Inclusive Hospitality hosted the launch of our 2022 Inside Hospitality Report at the OXO Tower Bar and Brasserie. We shared the important findings with our community members, partners and industry leaders to help drive much needed change throughout the hospitality industry.

Last week, we had a full house to hear the key findings of this year’s Inside Hospitality Report. The findings were presented by Be Inclusive Hospitality’s founder and industry leader, Lorraine Copes, alongside associate Nena Foster, Be Inclusive Hospitality’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Lead. 

The presentation started off by frameworking the issues at hand, insight on which came from both of Nena and Lorraine’s careers working for many years inside the hospitality industry. They outlined how ‘Diversity’ per se is not technically the problem, but the very apparent lack of representation in leadership roles and position of influence. As Lorraine states, ‘the figures point to evidence that there is a ceiling if you are a person of colour in the industry’. This is further cemented by the distinct lack of research, insights or organisations that work to combat this issue.

Nena and Lorraine shared that, because of this lack throughout the industry, it is important to capture information from the people currently working within the sector. Following the results of our 2022 Inside Hospitality survey, which gathered over 1000 responses, Be Inclusive Hospitality built a comprehensive, and concerning, account of the industry’s status quo in regards to careers in hospitality, racism, Diversity and Inclusion and education. This report is an essential, free of charge, resource for all industry leaders looking to make effective change throughout the hospitality sector.

The presentation shared some key findings from the report-

  • Worryingly high levels of concern about the impact of racism in the workplace, further cemented by 28% of Asian, 37% of Black and 39% of mixed ethnicity respondents experiencing or witnessing racism in their current place of work.
  • Amongst respondents who have witnessed or experienced racism; 23% Asian, 16% Black and 12% of mixed respondents have been offered wellbeing support, including mental health or otherwise. 
  • Asian and Black Senior Leaders feel unsupported by their employers regarding career progression compared to their peers. Asian Senior Leaders (38%) and Black Senior Leaders (39%) felt they are ‘very well’ or ‘well’ supported compared to two-thirds (65%) of White Senior Leaders.    
  • Black respondents, at 43%, are most likely to report that ethnicity has hindered career progression. Asian (37%) and mixed (28%) respondents reported the same. In contrast, just 7% of White respondents believe this.
  • Only 1 in 5 of all respondents have accessed workshops about anti-racism, race or language. There is a strong appetite to do so, with 5 in 10 respondents stating that they would like to.

These findings really emphasise the work that needs to be done to enhance career progression and equitable opportunities for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities throughout the hospitality sector. Due to data composition, it was not possible to compare this year’s data from the 2021 Inside Hospitality Report. Nena emphasises, however, that even without being able to create a direct comparison, a lot of the same findings are evident throughout both samples. By constantly refining the questions, strategy and distribution channels, comparison’s are likely against future reports.

When asked if at all surprised by the results of the survey, Lorraine responded; ‘in terms of racism, that’s a societal issue. I’ve witnessed racism in various forms throughout my entire life. What was really sobering was reading the comments… to see how people feel and have been treated. This needs to be addressed. If we take away the problem, we are left with really talented individuals who can build careers and be a big part of the industry’. 

Both Nena and Lorraine agreed that recruitment is only one part of the puzzle. Nena posed the question ‘who is in the room, looking at D&I, who will help to overcome these barriers? It’s going right back to the beginning, creating a job role that will help overcome them’. Lorraine continued ‘if we remove barriers, there’s a pool of talent for the benefit of both employers and the consumer. On a practical level, if you are an inviting employer you attract a broader pool of employees. If you have a diverse team, you can better represent the consumer’. Lorraine emphasised that whilst recruitment and barriers to career progression are separate issues, they are interlinked. And both need to be challenged accordingly.

The presentation ended with practical steps any business can take to improve on Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. Examining your business and employees is important, and supporting career development is a crucial step. Partnering with external companies is essential in gaining a wide variety of resources and support throughout your Diversity and Inclusion journey. Zero tolerance to racism and racial prejudice is an absolute necessity in fostering a fair, inclusive and moral workspace. The briefing closed with a quote from Leadership coach John Amaechi, OBE ‘It is the worst behaviours tolerated that shape culture’.

Download your copy here of this essential free of charge resource, and start your journey in helping make much needed change throughout the industry.


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