Tag Archive: BME

EU referendum: Debate affects 8 million of BME people in the UK

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IMPORTANT ISSUE: Dr Mohammed Ali OBE says the question about whether the UK should stay in the EU is an essential political debate for BME communities

IMPORTANT ISSUE: Dr Mohammed Ali OBE says the question about whether the UK should stay in the EU is an essential political debate for BME communities

Ethnic minority vote is key to EU referendum

A national charity, based in Bradford, says that black and ethnic minority communities could decide the EU referendum but only if they turn out to vote.

Chief executive of QED-uk, Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, said: “The debate about whether or not to stay in Europe concerns many of the most important political issues of our time.

“It affects every one of the 8 million people of ethnic minority origin in the UK.

“Many of them are likely to have very different opinions from their white neighbours but we are concerned that they are less likely to register to vote.”

QED Foundation works to promote the social and economic advancement of disadvantaged communities with a particular emphasis on ethnic minority groups.

It urges everyone to find out more about the issues involved in EU membership, such as talking to people who are for and against it so that a decision can be reached and a vote casted in the forthcoming referendum.

The United Kingdom has very different demographics to other European countries, which could affect our attitudes to EU membership.

For example, we have the largest Pakistani population outside the Middle East at over 1.5m, while many nations have less than 1,000.

A 2015 Ipsos Mori report showed that more than half of white Britons saw immigration as a top concern, while less than one third of ethnic minorities shared this viewpoint.

However, they are often affected by related policies and should be included in the debate according to a December 2015 report by the race equality think tank Runnymede Trust.

For example, EU membership might result in immigration restrictions focusing on other countries.

Although people from black and ethnic minority communities are less likely to take advantage of free movement, the Runnymede Trust report says that they  may be pro-Europe because they believe it will offer more protection from discrimination.

They may also be affected by wider implications of EU membership such as the possible effects on trade and investment, competition for resources and legislation.

For more information contact Dr Mohammed Ali OBE on 0300 500 1000, email or visit

Diversifying the boardroom

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PROMOTION: Arun Kang said it was encouraging to see so many people come together to tackle the diversification issue.

PROMOTION: Arun Kang said it was encouraging to see so many people come together to tackle the diversification issue.

Sporting bodies come together to tackle under-representation

One hundred and fifty people from across the sports sector and BME professionals, gathered at the House of Lords last month in an attempt to ‘diversify the boardroom’.

Currently in Britain, only three per cent of people serving on the boards of the nation’s sporting bodies are from BME communities, whilst 30 sports have no senior BME representation on any level.

Other data presented at the meeting included just one national sporting body with two BME board trustees and only seven of 216 management positions are held by the same demographic.

This information, plus more, was highlighted in Sporting Equals’ latest report, ‘Who’s on Board?’, and was obtained from an audit of 45 national governing bodies of sport conducted by Sport England.

Arun Kang, the Chief Executive of Sporting Equals, said: “The fact that so many people from sport and BME professionals have come together at a major event to help diversify boards is very encouraging and shows the passion and interest that there is in this issue.”

A key recommendation from the event was to set up a national steering group to help national governing bodies of sport diversify their boardrooms.

It will be looking at a wide range of options including co-options, shadowing opportunities, advisory roles and promoting Board vacancies more widely.

Likewise, another recommendation was to develop a database of candidates, empower potential BME candidates through training opportunities and develop an annual plan of action.

Edward Lord, Chairman of the Amateur Swimming Association, was present at the meeting and said he was delighted to have been approached on behalf of the ASA, to make the sporting body a member of the proposed national steering group.

He said: “The ASA is in full support of this agenda and I very much look forward to working in partnership with them to help attract, welcome and benefit from the development of a more representative and diverse board membership across our sporting nation.”

Mr Kang added: “Diversifying boards makes good business sense. Research shows they make for better decision making and are more profitable. Sport already contributes significantly to the English economy.

“Diversifying the top positions in sport will therefore be a win-win, meaning more people will participate and sport will make a substantially greater financial contribution to our country.”

There is growing evidence to support the economic case for diversifying sport – which already contributes over £20 billion to the English economy.

Research conducted by global management consultant McKinsey and Company in 2012 found that for companies ranked in the top 25% for executive-board diversity, the return on equity was 53 percent higher, on average, than it was for those in the bottom 25 per cent.

At the same time, earnings before income tax at the most diverse companies were 14 percent higher, on average, than those of the least diverse companies.