Bradford East’s MP, Imran Hussain, has launched his pioneering ‘Bradford Plan’ with a firm multi-year commitment from local public sector leaders to increase the representation of ethnic minority staff amongst senior leaders in Bradford’s major public sector organisations.
This Bradford Plan brings together key public sector organisations in Bradford including Bradford Council, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, West Yorkshire Police, the University of Bradford and the new West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, and includes aims, objectives and policies to break down barriers facing those from ethnic minority backgrounds seeking promotion, whilst encouraging talented ethnic minority individuals from outside the organisation to put themselves forward for senior leadership roles.
The plan also follows a decades-long mission by Imran, started whilst serving as Deputy Leader of Bradford Council ten years ago, which successfully boosted ethnic minority representation amongst senior roles within Bradford Council, and was recently accelerated by the challenges created by ethnic minority representation in decision making roles during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Unlike many other diversity plans, the Bradford Plan aims to accelerate representative diversity amongst senior roles rather than diversity in organisations as a whole, and recognises that if those in the organisations who are making key decisions are more representative, service delivery will be more effective. As a whole, it does not advocate positive discrimination, but policies to eliminate discriminatory recruitment and promotion practices, whilst breaking down barriers that underrepresented groups face in putting themselves forward for promotions to senior roles.
Speaking on the launch of the Bradford Plan for Ethnic Diversity in Senior Roles, Imran said:
“After many months of hard work alongside Bradford’s key public sector organisations delivering important services throughout the District, I’m delighted that we’ve launched the Bradford Plan and that I’ve got a firm commitment from Bradford’s key public sector organisations to ensure that the next generation of leaders and senior post-holders are representative of the people that they serve.
“Sadly, even in a place as diverse as Bradford, whilst those in lower-level roles are often over-represented by those from ethnic minority backgrounds, they are badly underrepresented at the top of the managerial chain, with those making important decisions for so many people in Bradford failing to be representative of those that they work hard for.
“For me, this work is the culmination of a decades-long aim of ensuring that organisations that serve people in Bradford properly look like people in Bradford, and this aim gained new momentum during the Coronavirus Crisis where we saw public sector organisations unable to properly reach out to residents.
“Given the challenges laid bare by the Coronavirus Crisis, ongoing health inequalities, educational divides and the soaring cost of living, increasing diversity amongst those that make the big decisions in public services isn’t just important to create representative role models and show kids growing up in Bradford that they can aspire to more, but also vitally important to ensure that the services which are delivered are appropriate and effective.
“In the coming months and years, I’m very much looking forward to seeing these action plans submitted by each of Bradford’s key public sector organisations take shape, and looking forward to seeing barriers broken down, with the next generation of leaders nurtured and encouraged to put themselves forwards for promotion within these organisations so that we get diverse leaders elevated to senior roles based on their merits.”