Diversity in Leadership Programme

The Mary Seacole Trust has embarked upon an ambitious programme of work to ‘move the needle’ on the diversity in leadership agenda. The Trust aims to achieve this by bringing the private and public sectors together to share ideas and solutions that have been effective in various industries in improving the representation of staff from diverse groups in senior, executive and board positions.

As part of this work the Trust commissioned a review, carried out on an independent and voluntary basis by healthcare researcher Dr Habib Naqvi. Dr Naqvi drew together findings from some of the many recent high-profile reports on race equality and inclusion in the workplace.

Dr Naqvi said: “Inequality in the workplace is unacceptable, yet it remains a historically resilient feature of the British labour market – the evidence is there. This is a multi-factorial challenge that requires a multi-factorial response – real, evidence-based interventions, data-driven accountability for managers, and a change in organisational culture to ensure that all staff feel respected, valued, engaged and supported.”

Nurse Karen Bonner, chair of the Trust’s Diversity in Leadership project, commented: “The message is clear and simple: greater diversity in your organisation leads to greater diversity of thought which, in turn, generates innovative approaches to achieving organisational success. There is clear recognition that voluntary approaches have not provided the society-wide impact that we need on this important agenda.”

The Trust’s chair Trevor Sterling said: “while many people believe, understandably, that there needs to be continuing acknowledgement of these issues rather than a specific month, never has it been more important to have a period of focused reflection and celebration, acknowledging signature moments in the history of the UK, such as the Windrush generation arriving in Britain. Many of that generation have recently suffered the indignity of rejection but this must not diminish our celebration of the huge contribution made by them and others from across the commonwealth and beyond.”

The literature review has now been published and can be accessed here:

Race Equality in the Workplace: A Review of Theory and Practice Commissioned by the Mary Seacole Trust, Dr Habib Naqvi February 2019.

The literature review outlines the key findings from a number of reports, including:

  1. Race at Work 2015, University of Manchester & Business in the Community
  2. Equality, Diversity and Racism in the Workplace: A Qualitative Analysis of the 2015 Race at Work Survey, Ashe S, Nazroo J
  3. Race in the Workplace: The McGregor-Smith Review
  4. A Report into the Ethnic Diversity of UK Boards: The Parker Review
  5. TUC report 2017: Insecure Work and Ethnicity
  6. EHRC report: Healing a Divided Britain
  7. NHS Equality and Diversity Council 2017 NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard: 2017 Data Analysis Report for NHS Trust

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