Four out of five people from ethnic minority backgrounds surveyed in Glasgow have experienced racism in the workplace, a new report from anti-poverty experts has found.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says "endemic racism" and ongoing "failure" by employers, the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council is responsible for the vastly higher poverty rates experienced by the city’s minority ethnic communities.

Nearly half of all children from BAME backgrounds live in poverty - double the Scotland average.

It is now calling for action from the local authority and the government to tackle widespread racism in workplaces to ensure Glasgow sets a gold standard for addressing the issue.

The report states there are "high levels of racism" in the city with the findings being "deeply saddening and frustrating".

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Glasgow is the focus of the report both because it has the highest concentration of people from minority ethnic communities in Scotland, and also due to "a clear need for intervention".

It details stark wage disparities between white workers and workers of colour, and details how racist labour market inequality forces families below the breadline.

Talat Yaqoob and Iffat Shahnaz, both of consultancy The Collective, were responsible for writing the report.

There are no significant data sets about the experience of people of colour in Scotland and so instead researchers approached the report by engaging eight people to become community researchers; they surveyed more than 100 people of colour; questioned eight community of colour grassroots groups; and 14 employer representatives.

This information was then collated and analysed and used to inform a series of recommendations to be put to the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council.

Ms Yaqoob said it is vital now, should these recommendations be taken forward, to ensure BAME people are meaningfully consulted on any work done.

She said: "What came across in the lived experience data is that people of colour are both consulted and invisible at the same time.

"What would seem like participation on the surface does not exist in practice - they are not being treated as partners and there is no parity of esteem with communities of colours.

"The most competent way forward, and what comes through really strongly, is the need for genuine partnership and genuine co-design that has some influence and power redistribution at its heart."

Participants spoke to facing racism in the workplace from colleagues, managers and customers with shocking accounts of being called racist slurs and blatantly discriminated against to harder to report examples of "microaggressions".

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One participant, Mohammad, said: "There are thousands of examples. I've been called P*ki and heard comments about brown people.

"I've had people speak to me like I don't understand English, had people comment that I am ‘fairly intelligent’ and speak good English for a P*ki.

"I've been asked my opinion by seniors on things such as Al Qaeda, Taliban and whether the mosque I attend has links to terrorism."

Ms Yaqoob said: "There is overt racism but alongside that, things like talking over, not including in certain projects, making comments that seem like compliments that are actually insults, giving menial tasks to the one person of colour in the group when that's not their role.

"These might happen multiple times but become harder to explain to people because we are in a state of play where people still think racism is violent, it's a one-off incident, it's being shouted at or it's being physically abused.

"Smaller incidents are just as difficult and just as consequential but harder to report to the employer because the employer doesn't have a clear idea of what racism is and doesn't have the mechanisms to deal with it.

"So we become caught in a vicious cycle: they don't report it, the employer doesn't understand it, and the cycle continues."

Change hasn't happened, she said, because it requires significant investment in time and resources and honest reflection about how difficult certain work environments can be.

But Glasgow, she said, could be a "showcase" for how to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce, which will then lift families out of poverty.

Ms Yaqoob said: "If we can't make it work here in Glasgow then we don't have much hope in the Borders or the Highlands where people feel even more marginalised and even more ignored because the population sizes are so small.

"If we can't get it right across Glasgow then we can't get it right across Scotland and Glasgow has the opportunity to be a leader and showcase how to do it well.

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"We have got to move away from this tick box survey culture where you're asked your experiences of racism, you tell them again and it goes somewhere into the ether."

Among a raft of recommendations, the JRF is calling on the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to commit to targeting the reduction in labour market inequality for minority ethnic communities as part of child poverty strategies.

It wants employability services to be designed and delivered with "diverse service users as equal partners" to ensure they meet their needs and are fit for purpose.

For employers, it says they must ensure staff of colour can access independent and trusted support to raise issues of racism where the employer’s processes are not trusted.

This requirement should go hand in hand with increased practical support for employers on how they can address systemic racism and become anti-racist employers.

Micheal Matovu and his wife Pheona founded their organisation, Radiant and Brighter, after experiencing years of challenges around employment in Scotland.

They had lived in London for several years and Mr Matovu describes being "fairly well off" in terms of not experiencing racism because, he said, the city was far more diverse than Glasgow.

"When we moved to Scotland, you know, everything turned around," he said.

"Because in Scotland, we didn't have friends, we didn't have family.

"We were on our own and despite the fact that our two little ones at the time were born in the UK, no organisation could support us [to find work] even though we knocked on a lot of doors."

Mr Matovu began volunteering and, as part of a leadership course, organised a meal for asylum seekers and refugees.

He added: "They could relate with the situation we were going through and that gave us an opportunity to try to address some of the issues in the communities in terms of integration, English classes, people finding jobs.

"Initially, when we set up the initiative it was just supporting people to integrate in the community.

"But then we quickly realised that many people from the migrant communities that were in Scotland had the skills and qualifications but were struggling to get into the labour market despite the skills shortages in the labour market.

"So we then started to support people to get into employment."

In 2012 the Home Office granted the couple permanent leave to remain in the UK and they began job hunting - with little success.

So instead they set up Radiant and Brighter to help others like themselves into employment and to start their own businesses, and quickly began to establish relationships with large firms such as Marks and Spencer.

An initiative with the high street retailer saw 90 candidates come through a Radiant and Brighter training programme into jobs.

He said: "There were a few things that we advised them to do but most importantly, for them to look at other systems and processes as well as recruitment.

"Because often organisations will say, 'Oh, we want to diversify our workforce and we will be equal opportunities organisation'.

"But that doesn't translate into all the system and processes that people go through and it doesn't help with retention."

One of the most important shifts, Mr Matovu said, is for employers to recognise racism in the work place and not "deny it or become defensive about it".

He added: "The other issue is the lack of recognition of the different skills that people come with.

"Look at an example of the Ukrainian refugees that have come into the country: they identify their skills, they identify their qualification, and therefore support them.

"These are the things that we've been trying to highlight in terms of supporting any other refugee or migrant who comes to the country because many of them will come with skills and qualifications but those skills and qualifications are not recognised here.

"So that in itself become a challenge for people to get back into the labour market."

A spokesperson said the Scottish Government thanked the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and would consider the findings of the report and respond in due course.

He said the government's Fair Work Action Plan incorporates its anti-racist employment strategy.

He added: "We are committed to working with a wide range of organisations and individuals to deliver our ambition to become a leading Fair Work Nation by 2025, which includes supporting people to prepare for, access and sustain employment.

"We recognise the critical role that addressing labour market inequality plays in lifting families out of poverty and that is why fair work is firmly embedded within our Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, Best Start Bright Futures."

Glasgow City Council was approached for comment.