Some of the biggest employers in Coventry have pledged their support to tackle a lack of diversity in the boardrooms of major companies and public bodies.
Representatives from businesses and organisations gathered in Coventry on June 25 for the launch of the Inclusive Leadership Pledge.
Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and the University of Warwick were among those to sign.
Anita Bhalla OBE, chair of the Leadership Commission, Paula Deas from Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Gail Quinton from Coventry City Council and Kulbir Shergill from Warwick University, at the launch of the Inclusive Leadership Pledge in Coventry
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, who also chairs the WMCA, welcomed the first pledges in Coventry and has urged more businesses to sign up.
The Mayor said: “One of the biggest strengths of the West Midlands is our diversity – but this diversity is not reflected in management positions or boardrooms across the region.
“The means talented people are missing out on jobs, and businesses are missing out on alternative views in their boardrooms.
“Signing the Inclusive Leadership Pledge is a great way for businesses and organisations in the region to underline their commitment to actively try to improve diversity in their leadership.
“I welcome the latest pledges made this week in Coventry, and, as we approach 2021 when Coventry will be the UK’s City of Culture, I would encourage other businesses and organisations in the city to sign up.”
The pledge, which aims to rebalance boardrooms, was the brainchild of businesses working together to consider the recommendations in Leaders Like You, the in-depth report published last summer by the independent West Midlands Leadership Commission.
The event on Tuesday was held at Coventry City Council’s offices. Coventry City Council was one of the first organisations in the city to sign the pledge.
Their commitment states: “We will work collectively with our political leadership to ensure that we have a 21st Century workforce that is representatives of the communities we serve.”
Their pledge includes introducing a mentoring programme and prioritising leadership training for under-represented groups.
The University of Warwick pledged to “develop a suite of actions to increase the ethnic diversity of our staff to reflect the region.”
It also said it would “increase the number of women and BAME (black and ethnic minority) people in senior positions” and work to model inclusive behaviours to support diversity in the workplace.
CWLEP pledged to: “Remain committed to boosting board diversity.”
It also said it would “encourage diversity through creativity and innovation."
Businesses and organisations can get more information and sign the Inclusive Leadership Pledge online at: www.wmca.org.uk/inclusive-leadership-pledge