Race Equality Guide to Hiring

Eight Barriers – Case Study

The DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion conducted confidential Race Equality Forums throughout 2020. Participants of the Forums were people from diverse backgrounds, living and working in Ireland. The Forums created a safe and confidential space for people to share their experiences. The participants developed practical solutions to tackling workplace discrimination and their input has informed this guide.

The Forums provided the Centre with rich analysis and insights into the wide range of issues and barriers experienced by migrant people in the workplace. The insight and findings also guided the approach and informed how we went about designing the guide. The purpose of this guide is to provide organisations and hiring personnel with the information required to take action and create equitable access to opportunities for all.

Key Themes

The two topics discussed were:

  1. Lived experiences of pathways to employment
  2. Barriers and inequalities in hiring processes

There are many barriers to race equality in the workplace, however for the purpose of this guide, we will focus on eight key barriers identified by the participant of the Race Equality Forums.


The DCU Centre of Excellence identified 8 barriers preventing race equality in the workplace:  

Race Equality and Priorities

“Diversity and Inclusion practitioners are focusing on many important issues but the conversation on race equality has not been prioritised.” – Forum Participant

Employers have made great strides in many areas of EDI. However, there can be an imbalance in the way organisations focus on the many different aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Until recently race and ethnicity was not on the priority list for many employers in Ireland.

Key Learnings

Organisations must be more proactive by taking deliberate action towards race equality. Creating space for speaking honestly and openly about race in the workplace is something that should be encouraged. Whilst is important to recognise and celebrate people’s differences, there is much to be done in relation to employees’ attitudes and behaviours which can be a barrier to equality for those in the minority.

Employers should prioritise educating the majority workforce about racism and race equality in addition to celebrating difference and encouraging diverse contributions. This Guide can be used as a starting point to have respectful and open conversations in your workplace.


Based on findings from the Race Equality Forums, it is clear that many organisations in Ireland are at an early stage of their race equality journey. Race equality in the workplace is not just a set of policies or procedures. Inclusion lives in the collective behaviours embraced by everyone working in the organisation. Racism has no place in our society and organisations need to commit to being part of the change.