London to drive diversity

The City of London has said it will put diversity and inclusivity “front and centre” of everything it does following the publication of a hard hitting report.

The report on tackling racism has prompted a series of “comprehensive and decisive” actions recommended by the City of London Corporation’s Tackling Racism Taskforce have been agreed by the Square Mile governing body’s Policy and Resources Committee.

They include measures aimed at tackling racism and boosting diversity in the City Corporation’s staff and elected members, its family of schools, the City of London Police and in the wider Square Mile business community.

Co-Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Tackling Racism Taskforce, Caroline Addy, said: “This report puts diversity and inclusivity front and centre in everything we do, from our staffing and governance arrangements to our family of schools, the City of London Police and our close relationship with the City’s financial and professional services sector.

“A lot has been achieved in a short space of time but it’s vital that we don’t rest on our laurels. Therefore the Taskforce will continue to closely monitor all of the recommendations we’ve put forward to ensure they are implemented with the pace and thoroughness they deserve.”

The Taskforce, set up in June in the wake of the Black Lives Matters protests, will continue to meet regularly to scrutinise progress of its recommendations and ensure all measures are implemented.

Co-Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Tackling Racism Taskforce, Andrien Meyers, said: “When the Taskforce was set up last summer we made a commitment to act quickly, radically and with determination to tackle racism in all its forms, and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done to help achieve that aim.

“Our report, and the comprehensive and decisive actions contained within it, should send out a clear message that we are determined to ensure the City of London is a place where people of all ethnicities and backgrounds feel safe and welcome.”

The report commits the City Corporation to introducing anonymised recruitment at all grades, “reverse mentoring” schemes to boost understanding of institutional barriers that may exist and training for key individuals to support BAME staff.

A dedicated senior officer responsible for diversity will be appointed, new guidance will be issued for committees and work will be carried out to encourage a more diverse mix of candidates for next year’s City Corporation elections.

Meanwhile, schools will be encouraged to do more to recruit staff from diverse backgrounds and to ensure under-represented groups get work experience opportunities, while the City Corporation will support business initiatives aimed at boosting diversity, make its business events more diverse and do more to support minority-owned small and medium sized firms.

The report also contains recommendations for the City of London Police, subject to approval by the City Corporation’s Police Authority Board – the force’s governing body. They include including new recruitment and retention targets to boost diversity and embedding diversity and inclusion as a key strategic objective for the board.