Yes, according to investigations reported here. It is uncomfortable reading. 

“I was 18 years old,” Billy explains. “I didn’t know what to do. I just didn’t think reporting it would make a difference.”

Billy [not his real name] is a Jewish student who woke after a night out with a swastika spray-painted on to his torso. 

Jess is of Indian descent and was nicknamed “Onion Bhaji” by her fellow students during freshers’ week at a UK university.

Universities, like many organisations, have been swift to publicly renounce racism in the wake of the George Floyd killing earlier this year. 

Releasing a statement is simple. Changing culture - the part that actually  makes a difference is hard. 

The question to ask ourselves as HR and Talent Specialists is why students who uncomfortable or futile reporting racism on campus would suddenly feel comfortable doing it at work. 

Safe to assume that your organisation has a zero-tolerance approach to racism. But what actually happens when it's reported? Who's informed? How do you protect and support the staff member who reports it? 

Typically we turn to employee stories to open up our cultures but not so easy with this one. Can't see any organisation wanted to showcase the staff member who reported their boss or co-worker for racist behaviour. But you can share video of the person who would receive the call, explaining who they are and how they take care during investigating these claims. 

A 2019 report, commissioned by Goldsmiths, University of London, into racism on campus that 79 per cent of the university’s students simply did not know who they could report racism to. Do your staff? Do your candidates? Do your applicants?