The government has launched a national mentoring programme designed to boost the numbers of black, Asian and minority ethnic women working as local councillors.
Launched by the Government Equalities Office, the mentoring programme is the first of its kind and aims to train 60 black, Asian and minority ethnic women in up to 30 local authorities.
Black, Asian and minority ethnic women are under-represented in politics at every level, and account for less than 1% of all local councillors in England, according to government figures.
For six months, the women will be mentored by members of a taskforce and a wider network of minority ethnic women councillors, and will get first-hand insight into local politics by spending up to four days shadowing a councillor.
A further 50 women will undergo a community leadership course to learn more about the role of a local councillor.
Maria Eagle, deputy minister for women and equality, said: “Democracy is most effective when its representation reflects the community it serves. Black and Asian women are under-represented in local government. The first step towards addressing this is to engage and interest more women in running for these roles.”