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Here we consider the multiple impacts of institutional racism on people throughout their lives, and offer some suggestions for what we can each do to address this.

“[t]he collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin”. The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, report of an inquiry by Sir William Macpherson of Cluny, Cm 4262-I, para. 6.34, p49, February 1999

Institutional racism is a commonplace and often subtle form of racism that manifests in policies, processes, attitudes and behaviours that result in discrimination, or inequalities of opportunity or outcome.  Many organisations don’t realise how their policies and practices disadvantage certain people but institutional racism is evident in education, healthcare, housing, employment, and criminal justice.  This can affect a child from birth and the lasting impact can be seen throughout the lives of those from minoritised groups.

Image showing six text boxes considering inequalities in healthcare, education, finance, housing, justice and funding with examples for each.Black women 5x & Asian women 2x more likely to die as a result of complications in pregnancy than white women.Black babies over twice as likely to be stillborn than White babies.6% Black school leavers attended a Russell group university (12% Mixed & Asian, 11% White).58% Black UK-domiciled qualifiers received a 1st or 2:1 (81% White, 70% Asian, 77% Mixed.Black workers with degrees earn on average 23% less than White workers.36% of those from Ethnic Minorities live in poverty compared to 17% White people.31% Pakistani or Bangladeshi people live in overcrowded accommodation (27% Black & 8% White)Homelessness reduced by 12% for White households & increased by 4% for Black, 3% for Asian & 2% for Mixed (2006-2018).3x higher rates of prosecution & sentencing for Black people than for White people.Black people 9x more likely to be stopped and searched than White people.1.2% of PhD funded studentships awarded to Black or Black Mixed students (UKRI 2019).UK based BAME researchers underrepresented in grant awards (83.9% White, 6.4% Asian, 4% Mixed, 0% Black (Wellcome 2020).



  • Ensure that key decision-making and/or research is informed by contributions from those with a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences.
  • Challenge policies and practices where you perceive inequalities. If you have concerns about policies or practices within DPAG, contact HR, the EDI Officer, or the Head of Administration and Finance.
  • Include a commitment to EDI as essential criteria in recruitment.
  • Share job vacancies with diverse networks, including: Black in NeuroBlack in CardioBlack in PhysiologyBlack in Cancer.
  • Make efforts to increase Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation of staff at all levels.
  • Use positive action measures, such as mentoring, sponsorship, development programmes, and targeted advertising to support staff from previously excluded groups to reach more senior positions. Positive action is lawfully permitted under the Equality Act 2010 as a legitimate means of reducing inequalities between groups in employment.
  • Consider equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) when selecting external partners, collaborators, and suppliers, (eg their commitment to anti-racism, and diversity amongst their workforce).
  • Join DPAG's Anti-Racism Working Group - email


Report highlights ‘striking’ inequalities in UK maternal deaths (

MBRRACE-UK Perinatal Surveillance Report 2018 summary.pdf (

Statutory homelessness GOV.UK Ethnicity facts and figures (

The Broken Pipeline  Barriers to Black PhD Students Accessing Research Council Funding - Leading Routes

bame student attainment.pdf (

Disproportionate use of police powers: A spotlight on stop and search and the use of force (

Race report statistics | Equality and Human Rights Commission (

Report Wellcome Grant Funding data 2019-20.pdf

tackling racial harassment in higher education.pdf (

This is an image of a physical poster created by DPAG's Anti-Racism Working Group and displayed on-site to link to this webpage.  It reminds people of the actions they can take to address institutional racism, as outlined on this webpage.