Racial discrimination still exists in the workplace and is preventing many ethnic minority managers from progressing in their careers, a new study suggests.

The report, from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the Department for Work & Pensions and the Institute for Employment Studies, examines the recruitment trends of under-represented groups.

It reveals that one third of Asian managers believe racial discrimination stands in the way of their career progression and 20 per cent of black managers believe it acts as a barrier.

This contrasts with just one per cent of white managers who cite racial discrimination as a factor preventing them from climbing the career ladder.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the CMI, said: "Despite increasing demands for openness and transparency, many of the barriers to achieving greater diversity at a senior management level persist."

She said employers who fail to address racial discrimination and perceptions of inequality risk missing out in a large pool of talent.

Meanwhile women’s minister Harriet Harman has pledged to tackle "entrenched discrimination" in the workplace by asking employers to publish the percentage difference between average salaries for male and female staff in their company.