Companies make progress on anti-Black racism, but workers worry about recession: poll

A survey by KPMG says most Black Canadians feel their employers made progress addressing anti-Black racism last year, but they worry about what a recession could mean for those gains.

The report found 90 per cent of Black Canadians surveyed said their employers made progress on efforts to be more equitable and inclusive for Black employees in 2022.

The report also said 59 per cent of respondents said their employer’s efforts to hire more Black people improved, while 54 per cent said efforts to promote more Black people into leadership roles was also better.

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However, concerns about what an economic slowdown could mean for Black Canadians weighed on many of those surveyed.

The report said 77 per cent were concerned that a recession will hurt the career and promotion prospects of their Black and racialized colleagues harder than others.

It also said 73 per cent believe anti-Black racism efforts and broader diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives will be “put on the back burner” by their employer during an economic downturn.

KPMG surveyed 1,001 Canadians who self-identified as Black between Dec. 21, 2022 and Jan. 9, 2023.

The survey cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered truly random samples.

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