Future Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders received a boost this week as Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, launched the Stepping Up programme to develop leadership skills and provide learning opportunities.
The Positive Action programme aims to improve the representation of BAME employees in senior leadership roles within the city and wider region.
The Mayor was joined at a launch event by Baroness McGregor-Smith, former CEO of MITIE Group PLC and head of a government review into black and minority ethnic (BME) access to the labour market. Hosted at international legal practice and project partner, Osborne Clarke, the event saw over 50 programme participants and employers gather to make their commitment to improving access to senior leadership for BME talent.
Designed in partnership with employers, the programme is seeking people who are currently working in a team leader or middle management role to apply for a place. The programme offers successful applicants the chance to develop their skills whilst remaining in their current employment.
The benefits of the programme include the chance to work towards an ILM level five certificate in management and leadership, pairing with a mentor from another organisation to provide expert mentoring and support, 30 guaranteed development days to cover the course content and opportunities to experience another sector through undertaking a stretch assignment.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “We want to be at the forefront of providing opportunities for all communities to help meet our aspirations for the city and share in the benefits of that success. This includes developing an inclusive city leadership that represents Bristol’s diversity and unique cultural mix. This programme is one vehicle for that ambition that I am calling on everyone to get behind it.
“We need businesses to look inward and spot the talent on the shop floor, waiting for the right opportunity to fulfil their potential and become future leaders. We also need those same businesses to become part of a network to develop that talent and create a deep pool from which all organisations can benefits from. Together we can provide a valuable opportunity for people to partake in continuing the growth and success we have seen in Bristol in recent times.”
Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, who led the Government’s review of race in the workplace, commented: "All employees, regardless of their ethnicity, should be able to fulfil their potential at work. But nearly 30 per cent of black employees say their career progression hasn't met their expectations because of discrimination. That's why programmes across our country, like Stepping Up, are so important in helping to change the face of work in the UK."
Ray Berg, Managing Partner at Osborne Clarke and Stepping Up project partner, said: "One of the key elements in our approach to diversity is helping talented people to succeed regardless of their background and we feel Stepping Up is a fantastic Bristol-based initiative that will really make a big impact. We are proud to be a partner of the programme."
Prospective applicants and businesses can find out more about the programme by visiting the council website.