‘No place to hide’ | Buckingham Palace reveals shocking workplace diversity data

Buckingham Palace reveals shocking workplace diversity data

Buckingham Palace has recently hit headlines after publicly revealing data on its levels of ethnic minority staff and admitting that it ‘must do more’.

According to the BBC, the Royal Household’s annual financial accounts for 2020-2021 highlight that 8.5% of staff are from an ethnic minority background.

The latest 2011 census shows that this figure compares with circa 13% of the UK population. 10% is said to be the Palace’s target for 2022.  

‘Not where we would like to be’

Since the release of this data, the Palace has explained that the staff diversity levels are not ‘where it would like to be’.

A Palace source said: "It is not that we have not been progressing diversity and inclusion initiatives during this period, it is that simply the results have not been what we would like.”

It was reported that the household publicly divulged these statistics so that there would be “no place to hide” and so that they could be held accountable for progress going forwards.

Read more from us

"Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family have actively promoted and embraced the diversity of our nation and that of the Commonwealth, and we take our lead from that," the source continued.

In addition to this, a Clarence House Spokesperson said that its proportion of ethnic minority workers was also eight per cent.

The Spokesperson added: "It isn't good enough and we are determined to do better."

Publication of data recieves mixed responses

The revelation of these figures has attracted mixed reviews from experts in the industry, with some claiming that “it’s just words”.

One of those is Raj Tulsiani, Co-Founder of Race Equality Matters, who told the BBC that the Palace didn’t “deserve a pat on the back” for stating that it hopes to get better.

Tulsiani added: "Amplifying aspirations for future inclusion, it's nothing. It's just words.”

Separately, Graham Smith, Chief Executive Officer of campaign group Republic, welcomed the publication of this data.

Despite this, Smith went on to say that workers were “not protected from race discrimination”.

He added: "There is no justification why anyone should be given an exemption from workplace discrimination laws, particularly our head of state.”

Smith’s comments, and the release of this data, come shortly after the Queen and Buckingham Palace found themselves at the centre of equality and hiring revelations earlier this year.

Equality and hiring revelations

According to the Guardian reporting, the Queen’s courtiers reportedly banned “coloured immigrants or foreigners” from being recruited into clerical positions in Buckingham Palace until at least the 1960s - documents from The National Archives have suggested.

It also suggested, that according to reports, the Queen remains exempt from specific equality laws which protect from discrimination at work.

At the time, and in response to claims that the Queen is exempt from aspects of the Equality Act, a Spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told the Guardian: “The royal household and the sovereign comply with the provisions of the Equality Act, in principle and in practice.

“This is reflected in the diversity, inclusion and dignity at work policies, procedures and practices within the royal household.

“Any complaints that might be raised under the act follow a formal process that provides a means of hearing and remedying any complaint.”

The importance of D&I in the workplace 

Aside from the moral argument for better D&I, having a diverse and inclusive workforce is a top priority, largely due to the huge advantages it can bring for businesses.

For example, McKinsey data revealed that racially and ethnically diverse organisations outperform similarly placed organisations by 35%, pointing towards the business benefits of prioritising D&I.

In addition, Boston Consulting Group research found that companies boasting greater diversity among senior teams enjoy revenues that are up to 19% higher than their competitors.

Have you enjoyed this piece?

Subscribe now to myGrapevine+ and get access to exclusive new content, and the full content archive.

Be the first to comment.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.