17 July 2023
RSM UK has reached a significant milestone in its environmental, social and governance (ESG) offering, with 50 organisations adopting its RACE Equality Code, demonstrating growing recognition of the importance of diverse corporate governance within the ESG agenda across multiple industries.
The RACE Equality Code was designed and developed by RSM UK’s head of governance, Karl George, as a governance-based approach to all elements of equality, diversity and inclusion. It pulls together a framework based on numerous equality, diversity and inclusion reports, including the Parker Review, The McGregor-Smith Review and the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard.
The code aims to tackle representation on boards and in senior leadership teams, which remains an active area of concern, given only 4.7% of senior leadership roles across the public, private and third sectors in the UK are held by individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds. The code provides tools and guidance to address race inequality across all areas of an organisation, to foster transformational and lasting change.
Since its creation, RSM has worked with a range of organisations including the NHS, universities, not-for-profits, police and crime commissioners, private bodies and social housing associations. The Pebble Group PLC, a leading global provider of digital commerce products and services, became the 50th organisation to adopt the code and is also the first AIM-listed company to participate.
Karl George, partner and head of governance at RSM UK, said: 'Since joining the firm in February 2022, I have had the opportunity to engage with a wide range of organisations committed to improving their equality, diversity and inclusion practices, to create significant and lasting change. Our RACE Equality Code includes a governance framework and a community of adopters which aims to make real headway in tackling racism, bullying, and harassment within organisations. By focusing on governance and addressing the lack of representation on boards and in senior leadership teams, we are seeing organisations implement measures to boost representation.’
He added: ‘We are delighted to have hit our 50th adopter milestone in working with The Pebble Group, the first AIM-listed company to adopt the code and we are proud of the progress we have made so far. Through targeted recruitment campaigns, more inclusive marketing strategies, and data-driven actions and accountability, our RACE Code community continues to grow and address systemic issues related to equality, diversity and inclusion.
‘However, there is much more work for us to do and we are keen to collaborate with more private companies to embed inclusive practices and drive transformational change in the sector, as we have established with many clients in the public and third sector.’
Kirsten Motyl, senior ESG officer at The Pebble Group, said: 'The group is proud and excited to be part of the RACE Code community. The RACE Equality Code assessment has provided us with an in-depth external review to help us understand how race and equality, diversity and inclusion are being considered and addressed throughout our business.
'We will use this to develop a more focused and meaningful equality, diversity and inclusion strategy and, importantly, an action plan that is specific to our business. We are delighted that this will provide us with the ability to measure our progress and the structure that we have been looking for.'