A NEW scheme to encourage race equality in the boardroom is being piloted by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The RACE (Reporting Action Composition Education) Code has been designed to help organisations ensure their boards and senior leadership roles reflect ethnic diversity.
It draws together more than 200 recommendations outlined in reports, charters, and pledges, which aim to tackle diversity and inclusion challenges.
It was last last Friday as Black History Month drew to a close.
As one of the first organisations to pilot the initiative, the WMCA will help to trial the RACE Code in the West Midlands, working with others to shape the framework as it is finalised and rolled out as a free-to-download tool.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The diversity of our communities is a huge strength, but this is simply not reflected in boardrooms across the region.
“Evidence shows that a lack of diversity in leadership equates to organisations missing out on local talent and diverse perspectives, which could help them to be more adaptive in these challenging times.
“Therefore there is a moral and economic imperative for the WMCA to help the region address this issue.”
Launched in 2017, the West Midlands Leadership Commission evidenced under-representation in leadership across the public and private sectors and called for widespread action to tackle the issue.
The RACE Code activity will form part of the Commission’s new action plan.
Anita Bhalla OBE, co-chair of the West Midlands Leadership Commission, said: “I am pleased that the WMCA has decided to pilot the RACE Code.
“This new framework has the potential to drive the step-change in senior leadership across the region which our communities so markedly deserve.”
Research has fopund that in Britain black workers with degrees earn 23.1 per cent less on average than white workers and only 5.7 per cent of black people work as managers, directors and senior officials, compared with 10.7 per cent of white people.