News / Stepping Up

BAME leadership programme to change face of business in Bristol

By ellie pipe, Thursday Jan 25, 2018

Leaders of the future will better represent Bristol’s diversity, thanks to a groundbreaking new programme striving to change the face of business.

Stepping Up aims to improve representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people by ensuring those with the ambition to success are given the opportunities and skills they need to do so.

Designed in partnership with employers, the initiative will create the first BAME talent pool for employers.

Marvin Rees

“We want to be at the forefront of providing opportunities for all communities to help meet our aspirations for the city and share in the benefits of that success,” said mayor Marvin Rees at the launch of Stepping Up.

“This includes developing an inclusive city leadership that represents Bristol’s diversity and unique cultural mix. This programme is one vehicle for that ambition that I am calling on everyone to get behind it.

“We need businesses to look inward and spot the talent on the shop floor, waiting for the right opportunity to fulfil their potential and become future leaders.

“We also need those same businesses to become part of a network to develop that talent and create a deep pool from which all organisations can benefit from.

“Together we can provide a valuable opportunity for people to partake in continuing the growth and success we have seen in Bristol in recent times.”

The launch of Stepping Up

The mayor was joined at the launch by Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, former CEO of MITIE Group PLC and head of a Government review into BAME access to the labour market.

She said: “All employees, regardless of their ethnicity, should be able to fulfil their potential at work.

“But nearly 30 per cent of black employees say their career progression hasn’t met their expectations because of discrimination. That’s why programmes across our country, like Stepping Up, are so important in helping to change the face of work in the UK.”

Stepping Up is seeking people currently working as a team leader or middle management to apply for a place, with successful applicants gaining the chance to develop their skills, while remaining in their current employment.

Hosted at international legal practice and project partner, Osborne Clarke, the launch event saw over 50 programme participants and employers gather to make their commitment to improving access to senior leadership for BAME talent.

Benefits of the programme include the chance to work towards an ILM level five certificate in management and leadership, pairing with a mentor from another organisation to provide expert mentoring and support and 30 guaranteed development days to cover the course content.

There will also be opportunities to experience another sector through undertaking a stretch assignment.

Ray Berg, managing partner at Osborne Clarke and Stepping Up project partner, said: “One of the key elements in our approach to diversity is helping talented people to succeed regardless of their background.

“We feel Stepping Up is a fantastic Bristol-based initiative that will really make a big impact. We are proud to be a partner of the programme.”

Prospective applicants and businesses can find out more about the programme by visiting:


Read more: The search is on for Bristol’s most inspiring black and minority ethnic people

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