30 Sep 2020

Inclusivity at its best - Stepping Up programme wins prestigious award

Bristol City Council’s Stepping Up leadership programme has been named ‘Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative’ and ‘Overall Winner’ at the CIPD People Management awards 2020.

Bristol City Council is celebrating as ‘Stepping Up’ the authority’s diversity and development programme was nationally recognised yesterday at this year’s prestigious Chartered Institute for Professional Development (CIPD) awards. Judges said the programme was ‘Inclusivity at its Best.’

The Stepping Up programme gives people from under-represented BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) and Women and disabled groups formal leadership training and the chance to ‘step up’ in challenging roles across the public and private sector.

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor of Bristol and Cabinet Lead for Communities, Equalities, and Public Health, said: “We are delighted to have won the CIPD awards for ‘Overall Winner’ and for Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative during National Inclusion Week. It couldn’t be better timing and recognition of the great work of Bristol City Council.

“Diversity and inclusion is about creating inclusive environments and practices where employees can be themselves, are valued for their differences, and are supported to work at their best. I would like to thank all of the Stepping up mentors, partners, sponsors and participants for making it so successful. The programme is a shining example of the One City Approach to tackling inequality in Bristol. Our commitment to the ongoing work continues.”

Since being launched by Baroness MacGregor-Smith and the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, in January 2018, 149 participants have graduated from the award-winning Stepping Up initiative. The impact of the programme has been far reaching both within Bristol City Council and across partner organisations.

More than 50 per cent of the participants have stepped into more senior roles, while 20 per cent applied for magistrate opportunities, directly impacting on fair representation of BAME within the judiciary system.

Horumar (Going Forward in Somali) is the spin out Somali Women’s Development Programme opening career pathways for Somali women. The development of Horumar was led by Stepping Up participants.

Stepping Up has the won five awards:

  • Overall Winner, CIPD People Management awards 2020
  • Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, CIPD People Management awards 2020
  • PPMA Award for Diversity and Inclusion
  • South West Mentoring Award
  • Bristol Media Award

External Evaluation carried out by independent research shows:

  • 50% of Stepping Up participants have stepped up into a more significant role
  • 20% of Stepping Up participants applied for magistrate opportunities
  • 100% of participants have indicated an increase in self-confidence
  • 100% of participants have increased their leadership capabilities
  • 15% of participants have secured non-executive and trustee appointments
  • 1 Participant elected as a Town Councillor

Saliha Ahmed, who joined the programme in 2020 has recently moved into a new role as Consultation and Engagement Officer, said: “ I joined the Stepping Up programme because as a single BME parent my network and access to information is greatly reduced. It’s been great because of the opportunity to learn from other sectors, to realise my own leadership goals and gain the confidence to step into roles I hadn’t imagined for myself.”

In addition to the Stepping Up programme, the council recently announced a range of fifty different actions it will undertake in its drive to become a national exemplar for inclusive practice.

Bristol City Council has also been shortlisted for the LGC Award, which will take place next month.