Happy International Women's Day from BSWN

Today we celebrate the International Women’s Day, and this year’s campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter. Gender balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue that should be addressed as an essential condition for economies and communities to thrive. So how does race feature in this debate? Fighting for gender balance in the workplace, in national leadership and decision making should include discussion around how to ensure that ALL women have the opportunity to partake in shaping the future. 

In 2017, an analysis conducted by Operation Black Vote and the Guardian established that out of the 1,049 most powerful people in Britain, just 36 are from ethnic minorities – and only seven of those are women. This means that only 0.6% of the most powerful people in Britain were BAME women. 

BAME women are disproportionately marginalised and under-represented in the workplace, leadership and decision-making spaces (McKinsey & Company, 2017), which impacts their ability to partake in the discussion on gender balance.

Our focus at BSWN has always been on promoting the voice and influence of local, regional and national BAME communities in the effort to highlight the importance of thinking intersectional ( race, gender and  class) when tackling issues within our society. Through our strategic aims, over the next three years BSWN pledges to:

1.  Work towards enabling BAME women to strengthen their voice and access more opportunities over through our programme of events, sector partnerships and by working directly with decision-makers as a bridging to BAME female voices. 

2.  Build our research capacity to produce robust data on racial inequality to challenge and address negative outcomes for BAME people in education, labour market, health & housing through partnership work with academic institutions in the region. We will continue to produce recommendations that will help inform policy formulation and opportunities for BAME communities, businesses and women.

3. Deliver the action points of our economic inclusion strategy to deliver inclusive growth focussing on enterprise, social enterprise and sector development to strengthen the capacity of BAME organisations to be resilient, connected and sustainable in order to deliver change on the ground. BAME Women are much more likely than their white counterparts to branch out and own their business, enterprise or start their own organisation (McKinsey, 2017). Through our commitment to economic equality and contributing to skills development for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs, we hope to up-skill more BAME women on their journey to sustainability and success.

We hope you will be able to join us in our pledge this year and continue to support BSWN in the coming year. To find out more about our programme or how to become a partner or sponsor, please get in touch on admin@bswn.org.uk

To find out more about hot to take part in the #BalanceforBetter campaign, please see here. 

For ‘Women in Workplace 2017 Report’ by Kinsey & Company, please see here

For ‘ Delivering through Diversity 2018 Report’ by Kinsey & Company, please see here.