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Petitioning Prime Minster of the United Kingdom Rt Hon David Cameron MP

David Cameron - Review Black and minority ethnic representation across ALL job sectors

I welcome the Prime Minister’s comments in the Sunday Times (31 January 2016) about the poor representation of Black and minority ethnic groups at senior levels of the armed forces and as chief executives of FTSE 100 companies. I welcome a vision of our country where opportunity is available to all and where a good education and hard work lead to success.  However, not all ethnic groups presently share in this success.

Black and minority ethnic groups are poorly represented at senior levels of British society despite their qualifications and experience.  These inequalities are sometimes more stark for particular minority ethnic populations:

 §  In my own sector - higher education - there are just 70 UK Black Professors, compared with over 13,200 UK white Professors.

 §  Just 3 High Court Judges are from a Black or minority ethnic group

 §  There are only 3 Chief Officers from a Black or minority ethnic background within the 43 police forces of England and Wales

 §  Those from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds make up less than 2% of senior clergy within the Church of England

 §  In London, where the Black and minority ethnic communities account for almost half of the population, just 2.5% of NHS chief executives and chairs are from these backgrounds.

Faced by barriers and the frustration of not being able to progress many Black and minority ethnic professionals leave their posts or look elsewhere to fulfill their potential:

 §  The creative industries have seen a fall the number of Black and minority ethnic groups. Many actors from these backgrounds are leaving the UK in order advance their careers in the US.  We have heard Lenny Henry, Sophie Okonedo, Idris Elba and others speak on this issue.

 §  Black and minority ethnic academics are more likely to consider leaving the UK to work overseas compared to their white counterparts. 

 §  A disproportionate number of Black and minority ethnic officers leaving the Metropolitan Police Service resign voluntarily or are dismissed.

 This is a loss to the British economy and a loss of talent. 

How can we ensure our children and young people to commit to education and the possibility of a bright future when they see their qualified parents and family members are not progressing? I want a Britain where qualifications and hard work really do lead to success and where reward is open to all. 

The Prime Minister’s commitment to examine the overrepresentation of Black and minority ethnic communities in the criminal justice system is an important step but it offers only partial engagement with the issues facing these communities. 

Join me in asking the Prime Minister David Cameron to establish a comprehensive, independent review of the retention and senior level representation of Black and minority ethnic groups across all employment sectors within the UK. 

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  • Prime Minster of the United Kingdom
    Rt Hon David Cameron MP

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