CRE to help redefine race equality pledge

The chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality has pledged to overhaul the faltering Leadership Challenge – the joint venture with the Government to promote race equality in the workplace.

Gurbux Singh said, “I see the role of the CRE as helping to redefine the Leadership Challenge. It will provide a more taxing framework that sets out what our leaders are expected to do.”

The announcement came after Education and Employment minister Margaret Hodge admitted the initiative had failed to create more job opportunities for groups from ethnic minorities.

Addressing business leaders from the manufacturing and construction industries at the Department for Education and Emp- loyment last week, Hodge described job prospects for ethnic minority people as “stark”.

Government figures reveal that in managerial positions, white men are twice as likely than black men to take managerial and administrator positions – 20 per cent of white men, but only 10 per cent of black Caribbean men and 13 per cent of black African men are in these senior posts.

Black men are three times more likely to be unemployed than white men and black women are four times more likely to be unemployed than white women.

Hodge urged business leaders to support the Leadership Challenge, which asks them to play an active role in promoting race diversity in their workforce and the surrounding community.

She told business leaders, “Race equality will not be realised through more legislation it will be realised through leadership in our companies – we will come and talk to you about the sort of action you can take.”

Singh disputed claims by delegates that black people are unwilling to take careers in the construction and manufacturing industry because they preferred more prestigious careers in medicine and law. “Companies must make the industry more attractive to black people,” he said.

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