Diversity at the Combined Authority

Here is a statement from our Managing Director, Ben Still, on the Black Lives Matter movement and the steps the Combined Authority is taking to reduce racial inequality in our organisation and the wider region.

Here is a statement from our Managing Director, Ben Still, on the Black Lives Matter movement and the steps the Combined Authority is taking to reduce racial inequality in our organisation and the wider region.

"The events since the murder of George Floyd have seen a global increase in the prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement. As well as drawing attention to the abhorrent police brutality that led to Mr Floyd’s death, the movement has rightly forced a conversation about systemic and structural racism more widely within our society and the many injustices that this perpetuates. 

As a Combined Authority, we have made a start but there is much more to do. This begins with listening and learning, but must be followed by action.

Ben Still Managing Director, West Yorkshire Combined Authority

"It has given us all cause to question whether we are doing enough to create change and reduce racial inequality, and to conclude that we need to do more. As a Combined Authority, we have made a start but there is much more to do. This begins with listening and learning, but must be followed by action.

"It means recognising white privilege and working proactively to break down the systemic barriers faced by black and minority ethnic people.

"Our organisation is in a position where we can influence change – both for our staff and for the people across West Yorkshire whose lives our work touches.

"We are committed to using this position of influence to tackle injustice – both within our organisation and the wider region. As a starting point we will:

  • listen and learn from our black and minority ethnic colleagues and communities to improve our understanding of different lived experiences
  • take bolder steps to proactively reduce racial inequality and injustice
  • strengthen our approach to building a more diverse workforce, including more diverse shortlists and recruitment campaigns to encourage more black and minority ethnic into leadership roles within our organisation, especially
  • improve our diversity and equality training for all staff, so that we don’t just celebrate diversity but drive a pro-actively anti-racism culture that supports both our colleagues and the communities we serve
  • develop policies and programmes that actively reduce racial inequality in our region, whether through skills, business support, transport or other areas

 

"Like many organisations, we are reflecting on what we can do better to make a difference. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share with us, please email us.