CIMA has shelved a review exploring the possibility of introducing an ethnic monitoring policy for its members. The informal review, charged with re-examining the arguments for and against monitoring the ethnic background of members, was announced in April following concerns raised by the inquiry into the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
But CIMA secretary John Chester said the issue will not be discussed until November because of pressures on the institute’s timetable. A monitoring policy was rejected when last debated by CIMA members four years ago but executives now feel it is inevitable.
One argued the institute could not escape the increasing pressure on organisations to publish information on the ethnic background of members to combat claims of widespread discrimination.
‘You can’t avoid ethnic monitoring of employees because every organisation is having to do it,’ said one.
In May trade minister Ian McCartney said he wanted to review the ethnic monitoring policy of the institutes. This could require institutes to incorporate information on the ethnic background of members in their annual returns to the DTI, alongside information on disciplinarians.