People of colour (PCs) can be shown to be natural allies, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Warwick and the University College London analysed the role of people of colour in the workplace in the UK.
The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, used data from the Office for National Statistics to measure the presence of PC-type workers in workplaces.
Researchers found that a majority of workers of colour are in positions of leadership and the organisation they lead.
PC workers were found to be better represented in the business than those with other characteristics such as gender, race or ethnic background.
“This paper demonstrates how PC is becoming a critical part of our workforce and how the UK has a long way to go in building an inclusive workplace,” said lead researcher Julia Luscombe.
PCs are often seen as being “natural allies”, but research has shown that they may be less productive.
It has been suggested that this could be because they are less likely to be able to engage in socialisation, and have more difficult interactions with non-PC colleagues.
A lack of PC skills has been linked to a high incidence of suicide.
In the study, PC workers represented 11.9% of the workforce, compared to 17.3% for non-white workers.
However, PC was more likely to occupy a leadership role in organisations than non-pc workers.
The researchers also found that women of colour had a higher proportion of leadership roles in organisations.
These are the findings of a new paper by researchers at the University at Buffalo, published online on Tuesday.
They also found PC workers to be less likely than white workers to report that they had been treated with respect and that they felt safe working in an organisation.
“Our research demonstrates that PC workers can be found as natural allies in organisations and may be perceived to be ‘natural partners’ in the work environment, but these allies may not necessarily be as successful in achieving their goals in the organisation as their counterparts in other groups,” said senior author Dr Rebecca Whelan.
This could be due to the fact that PCs are perceived as having lower expectations, or because they do not feel they have the skills or confidence to take on leadership roles.
Other research has suggested that PC members may be more likely than other groups to report discrimination in the past, and this can have a negative impact on their professional life.
The researchers hope their findings will encourage organisations to adopt a new approach to hiring and diversity, including prioritising diversity over PC recruitment.
However, the researchers also believe that they are also important in the wider economy.
“Our findings are an important piece of evidence in the ongoing debate over the role that the PC population plays in the economy and society,” Dr Whelany said.
She added: “This study shows that we should not dismiss the importance of PC in the workforce.
It is an essential part of a successful business and society, and is a powerful tool for promoting inclusive workplace practices.”