Diversity in Tech Report > Case study: BT

Case study

Embedding D&I for ethnicity and race through a large organisation

A case study from BT

To improve ethnic diversity, we have set initial targets that by 2025, ethnic minority colleagues will make up 16% of the BT Group (excluding Openreach) UK workforce, and 15% of the UK senior leadership and senior management teams. We have also set targets for Black representation: to have 5% of our senior leadership and senior management UK teams made up of Black / Black heritage colleagues. Our ambition is that by 2030, 25% of the BT Group (excluding Openreach) UK workforce will be made up of ethnic minority colleagues.

In 2020, we reaffirmed our commitment to tackling racial injustice by launching our Ethnicity Rapid Action Plan (ERAP), with four commitments: Accelerating diversity within, Educating and empowering our people, Leading by example and Building transparency. We have continued to make progress across all four commitments, including rolling out mandatory Let’s Talk about Race training to all colleagues. More than 250 virtual workshops have been delivered to Executive Committee members, senior leadership and management teams, people managers, and key HR colleagues. More than 81,000 non-manager colleagues have also accessed the digital learning option.

To enable us to attract, recruit and retain more ethnic minority colleagues, we have designed and delivered a range of initiatives including Accelerate, a new talent programme for high potential middle managers that incorporates a fast stream programme for colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds. We have partnered with an external supplier to provide senior mentors for the ethnic minority participants.

Our ambition is that by 2030, 25% of the BT Group (excluding Openreach) UK workforce will be made up of ethnic minority colleagues.

A revamped graduate recruitment campaign and early careers strategy has led to an increase in the intake of ethnic minority graduates with 41% of new graduate joiners in 2021 coming from ethnic minority backgrounds, an increase on 29% the previous year. Our Black and Black heritage graduate intake also increased from 4% to 12%.

We continue to build on our successful partnership with the Aleto Foundation, a social mobility charity that provides employability training for young talent, predominantly from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds. In 2021, the annual immersive leadership programme saw 417 delegates attending, supported by 33 BT mentors. Of the delegates that were invited to recruitment assessment centres after the programme, 50% were successful in receiving a job offer from us. A new dedicated winter programme also supported 55 Aleto candidates.

A new partnership with 10,000 Black Interns, an organisation that works with employers across a wide range of industries to offer paid work experience and training to young Black people in the UK has resulted in an initial pilot programme where we will be offering paid internship places to participants. An external initiative, the McKinsey Black Leadership programme has provided a development opportunity for Black middle managers.

Our Ethnic Diversity Network (EDN), has an Executive Sponsor, and continues to act as a strategic DEI partner, working with leaders and teams across BT to improve ethnic diversity and inclusion. The network has launched the EDN Local Champions and Allies across different locations and business units, creating opportunities for conversations and shared learning in safe spaces.

Our commitment to ethnicity inclusion extends beyond our workforce. We continue to work with MSDUK (Minority Supplier Development UK) the UK’s leading non-profit membership organisation driving inclusive procurement to engage and attract ethnic minority businesses.

41% of new graduate joiners in 2021 came from ethnic minority backgrounds

An increase on 29% the previous year.