On Wednesday 19 July Mr Speaker was joined by representatives from 60 UK businesses and staff from the House of Commons to pledge their support for the Speaker’s BAME Challenge.
Inclusive Employers, the UK's first membership organisation for businesses committed to diversity and inclusion devised the scheme in collaboration with the House of Commons Diversity and Inclusion Team in order to improve the representation of BAME people in senior roles in business. The event provided an opportunity for employers to share ideas and innovations, as well as celebrating the progress that has been made in attracting such a range of UK businesses to join the programme. Participants included Tesco, Barnardo’s, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car and Leonard Cheshire, as well as many other UK based organisations.
Three action groups have been working to devise best practice guidance for employers, focusing on the areas of attraction, development and leadership. Toolkits are planned for publication later in the year, which will assist businesses in ensuring that workplaces are inclusive and that access to opportunity is equal for all.
Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, said:
“I am very proud to be able to celebrate the vital work that is taking place to improve the representation of BAME colleagues in Parliament and other organisations. We have a long way to go until we achieve true equality, but we must recognise the important steps we have taken. I look forward to seeing the materials that our working groups create, and to watching as the House of Commons workforce becomes more and more diverse”.
The BAME Challenge is part of the work that the House of Commons and Digital Service is undertaking to improve BAME representation at senior levels of the organisation and stems from the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2015-18.