This page collates the benchmark trends analysis across the last three years.
Key findings
Unconscious bias continues to play a role during all the stages of recruitment of BAME candidates, from application, through shortlisting and interview to job offer.
There is a significant drop-off in the proportion of BAME graduates and apprentices progressing from application to hire stages of recruitment.
White candidates overall tend to progress from application to hire in similar proportions. This proportion increases among apprenticeship applications and is largest among graduate applicants.
The number of organisations ensuring ethnically diverse interview panels (where possible) has nearly doubled in three years (2012 – 2014), but fewer than 50% of organisations ensure this
Organisations where the rate of conversion from applying to being hired is similar between BAME and white candidates do the following:
- Target diverse candidates at recruitment fairs;- Mandate unconscious bias training during recruitment;- Ensure ethnically diverse recruitment panels;- Use a variety of recruitment sources to attract a wider pool of applicants.
Project 28-40 seeks to identify the hidden tensions within workplace cultures that are preventing the creation of more gender-balanced workforces. In the 21st century, the ‘male breadwinner’ workplace model of full-time, long hours and no external commitments has to change.
Since publishing the Project 28-40 report in April 2014, Opportunity Now has conducted further research into the experiences of women of all ages in different sectors. These papers set out the findings from our analysis of Project 28-40’s sector data, validated by qualitative data from focus groups with women in each sector . Each of the papers should be read in conjunction with the original report.
We hope these papers will further enable you to take action, recognising the unique challenges of your sector.

If you are serious about change, you as Service Chiefs and senior leaders need to take the lead on women’s progression, moving this from a diversity initiative to an operational effectiveness priority.Demonstrate visible leadership in tackling bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. Send a clear message to all employees that poor behaviour should be called out and turn ‘zero tolerance’ policy into a reality.Create a truly agile organisation, with women and men able to work in a way that makes them productive and engaged. Look at job design, technology and agile teams, and defeat the flexible working stigma that holds women – and men – back.Recognise that working in a male dominated culture places specific and additional demands upon female personnel. This requires you to consult with women in your organisation to develop your understanding of what it is like to be a woman in a man's world. These women have expressed genuine concerns that you need to address.

Useful statistics and actions on how to address occupational segregation in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics industries.