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Scrapping race equality legislation

Just when it was looking as though Nigel Farage had peaked too soon, he is back at the top of the news calling for a scrapping of race equality legislation. It's difficult to accuse Farage of Just when it was looking as though Nigel Farage had peaked too soon, he is back at the top of the news calling for a scrapping of race equality legislation. It's difficult to accuse Farage of engineering the opportunity. His platform was provided by a Channel 4 documentary, some months in the making. But Farage is an adroit politician. He is quick to make the most of the attention and try to move the conversation on. However, although he claims to have been misinterpreted and that his arguments were about nationality rather than race he has not resiled from his point that the country has moved on since the introduction of race discrimination legislation in the 1960s.

It is interesting to set that comment against yesterday's announcement that Tidjane Thiam is stepping down as Chief Executive of Prudential in order to join Credit Suisse. His decision leaves the FTSE 100 without a single black Chief Executive. And if one broadens the debate in the week that began with International Women's day, the gender pay gap remains stubbornly stuck at around 19%. No doubt we have moved on since the 1960s but few would argue that the journey is complete.

Our own Fieldfisher Diversity Week included a panel discussion for staff today with panel members drawn from some of our major clients. It was interesting to hear how much each was doing to encourage a diverse workforce and how competition for talent and the need for effective team working were cited as drivers rather than legislation. That said, legislation can provide an impetus and a safety net and given the rate of change to date, perhaps we need more rather than less.

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