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Race and Ethnicity

Race is one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. The Act aims to protect people from direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimisation on the basis of race. You can read more about the Equality Act here. On these pages you will find:

If you'd like to learn more about race and ethnicity and can't find what you need here, contact us and let us know.



The traditional definition of race and ethnicity is related to biological and sociological factors respectively:

  • Race refers to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics (which usually result from genetic ancestry) e.g. skin colour.
  • Ethnicity refers to a population group whose members identify with each other on the basis of common nationality, language, religion, or shared cultural traditions.

We also uses the term 'BAME' (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) in our work on race equality.


Definition of 'Race' in the Equality Act

In the Equality Act, ‘race’ includes:

  • Colour.
  • Nationality.
  • Ethnic or national origins.

In the Act's definition, a racial group can be made up of two or more different racial groups (e.g. Black Britons).


Race Profile of the University

The majority of Warwick’s staff are white (5464 members of staff, accounting for 80.2% of all employees). The University employs 1149 BAME staff, which is equivalent to 16.6% of the total employee population.

This is the highest proportion of BAME employees the University has employed to date and is higher than the sector average of 13.7%.

The statistics and infographic above are from our Equality Monitoring Annual Report, which you can find on the Data and Reports webpage.

You can find more data on ethnicity on the Office for National Statistics website.


Sources of Information and Support

You may also be interested in:

Staff Networks - including BAME Staff Network

Taskforces and SIC - including Race Equality Taskforce

Events - including Black History Month



Charters - including Race Equality Charter

External links

You can find more information about race and the law from the following sources:

Gov.UK - Race Disparity Unit

Advance HE - Equality Legislation

EHRC - Race Discrimination

Acas - Race Discrimination

Citizens Advice - Race Discrimination