Black Representation in Public Life

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2017 National Black Members' Conference
22 September 2016

Conference notes and welcomes the Scottish Government’s First Ministers proposal of the 50/50 by 2020 plan; a pledge on gender equality to make public appointments within public bodies more diverse.

Conference believes that all public bodies should include board members who reflect British society – people from all walks of life; those with a vast range of viewpoints and life experiences.

The 2011 census provides us with the knowledge that Black people in England and Wales account for 14% of the population, with just over 4% of the population accounting for the population in Scotland.

According to an analysis of diversity data on appointments made to the boards of public bodies in Scotland as at 2014, of the 574 seats available on Scotland’s public boards, Black people held only 16.

Conference believes that if we are to eliminate racism in our society we need to remove the barriers that Black people encounter in accessing opportunities and services. Addressing Black representation on public boards is an important step in dismantling those barriers.

Conference, therefore, calls on the National Black Members’ Committee (NBMC) to Work with UNISON’s NEC to :

1)Assist the Scottish Black Members in lobbying the Scottish Government to compile comprehensive benchmark data on Black representation in Scottish Public life and ensure it is included in the Scottish Government Race Equality Framework 2016/30

2)Campaign to increase Black representation on Public Boards and urge the Government, and devolved governments throughout the UK to address this under-representation and prioritise it as a matter of urgency, using as a model, the approaches and impact of the award winning NHS programme “Leading Better Care – Leading Across Differences”

Submitted by: Scotland Region

NBMC Policy: Support