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Bristol scoops equality and diversity award

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Race equality work in Bristol has been praised at the prestigious Global Equality and Diversity Awards with a ground-breaking project picking up a top prize.

Bristol’s Race Equality Strategic Leaders group which includes Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner and Avon and Somerset Constabulary, scooped the Transparency award for their work in researching and publicising the demographic statistics of some of the city’s major employers including the police.

The group’s recently published Annual Report of the Bristol Manifesto for Race Equality Strategic Leaders Group set out the city’s first ever data picture of 11 of Bristol’s largest public sector bodies. This picture focuses on pay disparity, sickness levels and grievances across the organisations as well as highlighting the ethnic make-up of each public body.

As well as being a first for Bristol, this type of city wide look at the ethnic diversity of public sector organisations is also believed to be a first in the UK.

John Smith, Chief Executive of Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office said: “It’s important that we invest the time to understand the ethnic make-up of Avon and Somerset Police and the wider public sector across Bristol. This means we can all work together to better understand the barriers for BAME employment, retention and progression across the public sector. We can also work together to promote the importance of inclusive and diverse workforces and integrated communities where everyone feels that their local services reflect their needs. This is one step in our journey and we will be looking to build on the data with action. The Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens is clear the police have to better reflect the communities they serve and this is a priority for Avon and Somerset Constabulary and our office over her elected term.”

Mike Jackson, Executive Director for Resources at Bristol City Council and chair of the Strategic Leaders Group, said: “It’s great that the hard work of the Manifesto Leadership group has been recognised in this way. This past year has seen us achieve a major milestone on our route to achieving the ambitions laid out in the Bristol Manifesto for Race Equality. For the first time we have an accurate picture of the ethnic make-up of the public sector in Bristol – so we can pinpoint where our resources should be focused. We also hope that our work will provide a blueprint for others across the country to work collaboratively to understand the issues they face and put in place sustainable solutions to tackling racial inequality.”

In picking up the award the data tool was praised by the award judges for being “the best example of published data and transparent information across business and the public sector on organisational make up, staff and / or customer service.”

In addition the Strategic Leadership Group were commended for a high level  of commitment to transparency, moving beyond statutory obligations, demonstrating engagement with a wide range of groups and working together to be transparent and open.

The Strategic Leadership Group was formed in response to the Bristol Manifesto for Race Equality. It’s aim was to bring together all public sector organisations in the city to work collaboratively to tackle the issues the Manifesto raises.

With a rapidly changing population profile, the group felt Bristol needed to better understand the employment statistics of its major public sector organisations. Using this data the group’s members will now work together to set out a number of actions to take on creating opportunities for BME employees and potential employees.

One such project that is up and running already is the city’s Stepping Programme which provides dedicated tutoring and mentorship to provide individuals from BME backgrounds the chance to develop their leadership skills. The programme aims to increase the ethnic diversity of leadership across all sectors in Bristol by producing a pool of BME talent to provide employers with greater choice in recruitment.

The Strategic Leaders Group’s annual report can be viewed online by visiting the Bristol City Council website.

 

Posted on Thursday 6th December 2018
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