Unite Students signs Race at Work Charter

  • Unite Students pledges to become a more diverse and inclusive workplace
  • CEO Richard Smith says: “Everyone in our business should have a voice.”
  • Broadcaster and author Rene Carayol is working with senior leadership team

Unite Students, the UK’s largest provider of student accommodation, has signed up to the Race at Work charter.

In doing so the firm, which employs 2,000 people across its Bristol headquarters and in 177 properties in 27 UK cities, acknowledges it needs to do more to become a truly diverse and inclusive workplace.

Unite has deliberately chosen Black History Month to publicly announce its commitment to do more to help bring about change. The company’s value: ‘Room for Everyone’ celebrates everyone in Unite, recognises the benefit of a diverse culture and supports everyone’s right to be themselves at work.

In signing the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter, Unite Students is committed to:

  • Improving its ethnic diversity by promoting a more inclusive culture
  • A zero-tolerance approach of harassment and bullying
  • A new talent development programme to create opportunities for ethnic minority groups

The charter calls on firms to ensure ethnic minority employees are represented at all levels of an organisation.

Richard Smith, Chief Executive at Unite Students, said:


“As a business, we need to do much more to be a truly diverse and inclusive workplace.

“If we are to make progress as a business, we need to listen to and support every colleague so we can improve our culture – that’s why we’ve signed up to the Race at Work Charter. Everyone in our business should have a voice because there is room for everyone at Unite Students and there is no better time than during Black History Month to make this public commitment.”


As part of its drive to become more diverse, Unite Students has invited René Carayol, broadcaster and author, to work alongside its senior leadership team.

René Carayol said:


“I’m challenging Unite Students’ leadership team to recognise that culture is more powerful than strategy. I’m very pleased that they are taking this seriously and as a priority. Every smart and progressive organisation should obsess about its culture.

“The business will naturally stimulate growth by focusing on its culture – that’s how Unite will truly make room for everyone.”

Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact Chris Allen on 07754 749301or email: christopher.allen@unitestudents.com

Further information about the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter is available here: https://www.bitc.org.uk/race/