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Tower Hamlets Anti-Racist Pledge

This Anti-Racist Pledge aims to send a clear and consistent message that racism will not be tolerated in Tower Hamlets.

The Tower Hamlets Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission concluded that racism still exists within institutions and structures in the borough, and challenges institutions who sign this pledge to achieve race equality in their organisation at pace.

Organisations will work together to make radical changes that close inequality gaps by advancing opportunities and ensuring the experience of racism within structures and institutions is eradicated.

Your commitment

Organisations who sign up to the pledge will commit to an ambitious set of shared principles and actions. Committing to be an anti-racist organisation is a commitment to:

  • not tolerating racist behaviour and calling acts out as racist
  • training employees on what being anti-racist means
  • address racial inequality and improve opportunity and access to services and employment.

It complements the ambitions of the borough’s No Place for Hate Pledge and signifies a commitment to challenging all forms of discrimination wherever it may exist in the borough.

Organisations pledges

See which organisations have signed the Tower Hamlets Anti-Racist Pledge

Answer:

Commitment

Data

At Queen Mary University of London, our Mission is to become the most inclusive university of our kind anywhere by 2030. Our Strategy 2030 espouses our values and these are translated into practice through a comprehensive People, Culture (PCI) and Enabling Plan. In 2019, Queen Mary commissioned and completed an independent Inclusion Audit to understand the barriers and challenges faced by our ethnic minority communities.

In response to these findings, and as a stated goal under the PCI Enabling Plan, Queen Mary established the Race Equality Action Group (REAG) in 2020 comprising staff and students from across all levels of the University, to oversee and direct our work on promoting race equality.

REAG are leading the development of a Race Equality Strategy and Action Plan to further address identified issues, including developing innovative ways to capture qualitative data and understand the lived experiences of our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME)  staff and student communities. Our approach is both values-led and evidence-based, in order to deliver the greatest impact.

We have been developing the quality, robustness and transparency of our data via PowerBI dashboards. These dashboards enable our organisation to monitor and measure BAME staff and student representation (across levels) and includes service user (student) data. These dashboards help us to identify and address areas for action.

The EDI Team publish race equality data in our Annual Report and produce a separate, voluntary Ethnicity Pay Gap Report on an annual basis, which is aligned to statutory Gender Pay Gap reporting.

Targeted interventions

71 per cent of Queen Mary’s home domiciled students are BAME; almost half are first in their family to participate in HE; a third are from East London (12 per cent from LBTH) – up from 26 per cent in 17/18; we are proud to attract our students and staff from local boroughs. Queen Mary is international, proudly so; we recruit our staff and students from around the globe with over 160 nationalities represented across our organisation, increasing the diversity of the local boroughs.

Inclusive is one of our five core strategic values and inclusion is part of our fabric and identity. Our values feature in our leadership and governance, informing our decisions around race equality and beyond.

Our People, Culture & Inclusion Enabling Plan is intersectional by default – addressing complex interactions and forms of disadvantage that staff, students and local people may experience.

Queen Mary have adopted the Race Equality Charter principles and build these into our core missions – Education and Research – and as an employer and anchor institution. We are committed to undertaking further analysis and tailoring interventions, with investment in a new post – EDI Manager – to lead our Race Equality Strategy from 2021.

In 2020, Senate the University’s body responsible for academic governance, adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism and have worked closely with our students and their representatives to tackle reports of antisemitic behaviour on campus and on-line.

In 2021, the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Sciences partnered with Google DeepMind to recruit a Post-Doctoral Fellow of Machine Learning to increase opportunities for Black researchers to engage with, and enjoy improved representation in, the academic discipline and industry. We will continue to design and develop tailored interventions in partnership with business, industry and not-for-profits to extend such future opportunities.

Queen Mary recognise that language around race is complex and rarely universal or uncontested. REAG and the EDI Team are finalising the University’s first Language & Terminology guide, with a view to recognising the nuances of language and coming to a consensus about what terms to use in which circumstances that largely meets the needs of our diverse communities.

Target

As mentioned, Queen Mary’s Mission is to become the most inclusive university of our kind anywhere by 2030. To realise this ambition, in 2019 we established KPIs around race and gender equality. Our KPIs aim for greater, more equitable representation of BAME colleagues (particularly at middle and senior levels for staff) and the elimination of the student BAME attainment gap.

By 2030, we are committed to at least 40 per cent BAME representation in junior, middle and senior roles. BAME people are over-represented in our junior roles and under-represented in our most senior, currently.

We have designed a new leadership framework to help promote inclusive leadership and provide a fair and equitable model to facilitate succession planning, so that we can identify talent early and develop our future leaders, to enhance representation at all levels of the University’s structures and meet our targets for BAME representation.

Each School, Institute and Directorate at Queen Mary annually reports on their performance against these metrics to our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group chaired by the Vice Principal for People, Culture & Inclusion, who is a member of the University’s Senior Executive Team. Oversight of progress of the University’s EDI agenda, and performance against our institutional KPIs, resides with the University’s Council.

Influence

Queen Mary recognises our opportunity to influence the Borough through our buying and procurement power. In line with our values, we have procurement policies and procedures with which our contractors and partners need to comply. We regularly review and improve these policies to enhance our social responsibility

Contractors and partners are required to confirm their commitment in relation to equality issues, including Modern Slavery and Bullying & Harassment in order to work with Queen Mary. We are committed to continuous improvement in this space.

Awareness and communication 

This Pledge will be promoted and communicated via our Race Equality Action Group (REAG), the Professional Services Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group (PSEDISG) and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group (EDISG).

We will also communicate progress on actions within the Pledge through regular communications to the wider University community.

Additional commitments

  • Our People, Culture and Inclusion Enabling Plan has a core workstream addressing race equality and key issues identified by staff surveys, in support of our commitment to inclusion and our 2030 Strategy.
  • We will deliver our Education and Student Success Enabling Plan, with a major workstream on the development of an inclusive curriculum, with a particular focus on addressing the student ethnicity attainment gap at Queen Mary.
  • We will design and deliver a programme of training and development to our staff to communicate our commitment to race equality and inclusion for all.
  • We have an ongoing commitment to promote and sponsor women and BAME staff to attend the Aurora Leadership Programme, the Springboard Development Programme and the B-MEntor Mentoring Schemes.

We are exploring innovative strategies to address the talent pipeline to encourage more BAME students to progress from undergraduate to postgraduate studies, to enhance their career opportunities, either in academia, or in other sectors. We use many of our immensely successful BAME alumni to act as mentors to our students for this purpose and continue to grow our network of both national and international alumni to support this successful and valued activity. 

Signed pledge

By signing this pledge on behalf of my organisation, I pledge that we will address the issues identified, monitor our progress on an annual basis, and agree to be held accountable for the
delivery of our actions.

Organisation: Queen Marie University of London

Name and role: Sheila Gupta, Vice Principal – People, Culture and Inclusion

Signed: Sheila Gupta signature

Answer:

Data

We recognise the value of reporting ethnicity pay gap data and have been publishing this as part of our Gender Pay Gap on an annual basis since 2018. We will improve the way we communicate this to our staff and the community to ensure the information is accessible and details the ethnic profile of our senior leadership.        

  1. We will undertake a detailed analysis of ethnicity pay gap data to form a comprehensive understanding of why the gap exists, the areas of the organisation where the gap is most prominent, and this will inform a range of options as to how we can close the gap and investment and time required to do so.
  2. We have reviewed the way we collect and monitor equalities data on service users. We will implement actions to improve data collection and analysis which will better inform decision making and access to services. 

Targeted interventions

  1. We understand that we have many different communities in our borough who each have their own cultural beliefs and nuanced needs. As we implement our action plan to respond to the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission’s recommendations we will ensure that interventions are tailored and consider the specific needs of each community.
  2. We will ensure, where appropriate, decision making is supported by an analysis of the impact on each of the borough’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities
  3. We will work closely with our partners and community organisations to understand the needs of our different communities.
  4. Where we engage residents in the co-design of services and commissioning projects, we will ensure all voices from the community are represented.
  5. We will ensure that all consultations reach out to the borough’s different communities.
  6. We will enable anonymised application process in LBTH e-recruitment system and ensure all recruitment panels are diverse.We will regularly provide a refresher on recruitment practice for all managers in order for them to have a licence to practice.
  7. We will develop a talent and succession pool, as part of implementation of the People and Wellbeing Strategy, which will include a focus on how Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff can be developed for success in progression.
  8. We will support Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff to attend range of national, regional and local leadership training programmes. We will continue to work with our staff BAME Network to encourage and support our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff to increase take up of our leadership development offer.
  9. We will deliver a Cultural Leadership Programme which equips leaders and managers with a range of tools, skill and knowledge to ensure LBTH becomes culturally competent. This includes development of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic mentoring and coaching.
  10. We will deliver an Anti-Racism Education programme for staff which will be a series of events/workshops and interventions that educate, challenge, and grow inclusivity and recognising difference.

Targets

  1. As part of the council’s strategic plan, which sets the aims and objectives for the organisation and is the main business planning document, we will include a commitment to measure the top 5 per cent of earners who are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
  2. We have set a target to ensure 35 per cent of the top 5 per cent of earners are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in 2021/2022. This will be reviewed annually as part of the council’s target setting policy to ensure we continue to grow representation at our most senior levels and delivers year on year improvement.
  3. Following detailed analysis of gender and ethnicity pay gap we will develop strategy to address issues identified including how this can support greater representation at senior level.

Influence

We recognise the ability and responsibility we hold to shape and influence the equality principles of organisations throughout our procurement policies. We do business with organisations with differing resources and capacity. We do not want to discourage any organisation from bidding for our contracts and will ask each organisation to provide a proportionate response which is making every possible effort to comply with our anti-racist commitments.

  1. Organisations who are awarded a contract by the council must sign up to the Tower Hamlets Anti-Racist Pledge. We will include a requirement for organisations to demonstrate how they will be anti-racist in all our contract specifications and as part of the selection process. During the life of the contract we will monitor this through our contract monitoring and require contractors to demonstrate the efforts they have made to improve their diversity and realise the commitments in their pledge

  2. We will hold information sessions for all organisations bidding for a council contract to ensure they are aware of the equality and diversity principles the council expects to see demonstrated if they are successful in bidding for the contract. Training and support will be given to them through this session to ensure they fully understand the requirements placed on them.

  3. We will ensure council officers involved in tender submissions are comprehensively trained to identify, understand, and score the anti-racist principles organisations must demonstrate.

Awareness and communication

We will publish our pledge on the council website and communicate this through our social media channels, newsletters, short videos in different community languages. We will communicate to our staff and members through internal communication channels including attending meetings and events to raise awareness and support to delivery our pledge commitments. 

The progress against the pledge will form a key part of our Corporate Equality Board and Strategic Plan.

Additional commitments

  1. We will review data and insights from our community to ensure we identify new communities and we are able to meet their needs.
  2. We will work with London Councils on the tackling racial equality in London Programme.
  3. We will support a voluntary and community sector race equality network to ensure race equality is driven by the community. 
  4. We will establish a local recognition scheme to foster a shared anti-racist culture and drive improvements in organisations equality and diversity policies, and champion best practice.
  5. We will deliver an  innovative and powerful anti-racist curriculum  project with schools in Tower Hamlets which will  ‘decolonise’ the curriculum and establish the difference between non-racism and racism, and what that means in a school setting. This will include a discussion with the Senior Leadership Team of each school to audit how the curriculum is delivered and give practical advice around changes and reforms to embed broader perspectives.

As system leaders we will work with our partners to drive this agenda to ensure collectively we can make a difference.

Signed pledge

By signing this pledge on behalf of my organisation, I pledge that we will address the issues identified, monitor our progress on an annual basis, and agree to be held accountable for the
delivery of our actions.

Organisation: London Borough of Tower Hamlets   

Name and role: John Biggs, Executive Mayor

John Biggs' signature

Answer:

Commitment

Data

  1. Use NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard data where available or employee data to understand the proportions of BAME employees in RLH/ME at different levels, and in line with our inclusion strategy, we will take positive steps to remove bias and establish inclusive practice
  2. Set KPIs and metrics for our recently established Gender Pay Gap working group
  3. Analyse patient data and work with our public health team to understand the proportion of BAME patients and establish what barriers they are facing, ensuring equity of access.

Targeted interventions

We recognise that Tower Hamlets has the highest number of people with Bangladeshi heritage of any borough in the country and that the fastest growing minority in the Borough are the 14% white non-British residents.

Also, Tower Hamlets has the highest proportion of older residents in poor households in England, and ranks 14th for children living in poverty.
Based on this, we will:

  1. Engage with Borough partners and community organisations to understand the needs of our local population
  2. Work with partners to tailor sustainable interventions

Targets

We have listened to our staff to redesign our recruitment processes and will continue to:

  1. Monitor WRES data to review change at senior levels
  2. Ensure all recruitment at Bands 8A and above involves an Inclusion Ambassador
  3. Ensure the redesigned senior recruitment process is adhered to, including:
    1. Having a diverse shortlist of candidates and a diverse interview panel
    2. Requiring hiring managers to feedback to unsuccessful candidates and those internal to the group will be offered follow-up support.

Influence

  1. We will use our scale to benefit the health of local people. By working together with east London partners, we will maximise our socio-economic impact by creating employment opportunities for local people; through our Community Works for Health Programme
  2. Ensure our current and new contractors understand our Barts Health values and share our WeBelong vision
  3. Applying Community Connectivity Shared development framework to deliver equity in healthcare, reduce health inequalities and uphold our anchor role within the ICS

Awareness and communication

The Inclusion Board and Hospital Executive Board is committed to the WeBelong strategy and will deliver the commitments of this pledge alongside the strategy by:

  1. Hospital Executive Boards will continue to promote the WeBelong strategy and ensure all staff have an inclusion objective in their PDP
  2. Ensure attendance of Inclusion Centre Inclusive leadership curriculum for managers once developed.

Additional commitments

  1. Through our community engagement groups we will listen to the experience of ethnic minorities and their families. This will enable us to be sensitive to the needs of our local communities, and act on their insights about what matters to local people accessing healthcare.
  2. As part of the wider programme to transform the NHS in London as outlined in the London Workforce Race Strategy, we will take part in the NHS White Allies Programme.

Signed pledge

By signing this pledge on behalf of my organisation, I pledge that we will address the issues identified, monitor our progress on an annual basis, and agree to be held accountable for the
delivery of our actions.

Organisation: Barts Health NHS Trust (The Royal London and Mile End Hospitals)

Name and role: Jackie Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer

Signed Jackie Sullivan's signature

Answer:

Commitment

Data

  1. Data collection from staff and trustees October/November 2021
  2. Publish ethnic profile of staff body, leadership team and Board via ELBA website in December 2021
  3. Calculate and publish ethnic pay gap in December 2021
  4. Update data and ethnic pay gap on annual basis – ongoing
  5. Explore extending current data collection on service users to all direct beneficiary work
  6. Through implementation of ELBA Volunteering Interface begin ask business volunteers to give their ethnicity data – from April 2022
  7. To better identify which community organisations are Black, Asian or minority ethnic led.

Targeted interventions

  1. Target Increase the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic led organisations we are supporting by 20 per cent by March 2022 and a further 20 per cent by March 2023
  2. Maintain/ Create programmes to support the employment and life chances of young Black men
  3. Further develop programmes to support young people at risk of, of already engaged in, serious youth violence and knife crime
  4. Further develop education and mentoring programmes to support young people from specific groups
  5. Act as a leader in the east London business and community sectors promoting anti-racism and community cohesion.

Targets

  1. To maintain the Black, Asian and minority ethnic proportion of the ELBA staff team at 50 per cent or over
  2. To maintain the proportion of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the ELBA leadership team and management team at 40 per cent or above
  3. To increase the proportion of Black, Asian and minority ethnic directors on the ELBA Board to 40 per cent of above by 2023.
  4. To use the BTEG/GLA toolkits to explore how we can help people progress in our organisation.

Influence

  1. To promote increased diversity and inclusion to our corporate partners
  2. Support Black, Asian and minority ethnic professionals so they can influence change in their organisations
  3. Develop programmes to interest Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in taking up decision-making positions in civic life – the NHS, as magistrates, school governors and charity trustees. Support them once in post to become leaders of those organisations
  4. To create a list of all our suppliers and engage them in promotion of positive diversity and inclusion policies

Awareness and communication

  1. To maintain the ELBA Inclusion Group to engage all staff in driving forward inclusion in ELBA
  2. To make public our commitment to the Pledge via the ELBA website and social media channels
  3. I have a public declaration of commitment in the ELBA offices for staff and external visitors to see.

Additional commitments

  1. Support and promote Race Equality Week each February
  2. Maintain our support for the SHIFT25 campaign for social justice
  3. Maintain our support for the BOABAB Foundation to seek a fairer share of charitable donations for Black led charities and community groups.

Signed pledge

By signing this pledge on behalf of my organisation, I pledge that we will address the issues identified, monitor our progress on an annual basis, and agree to be held accountable for the
delivery of our actions.

Organisation: ELBA

Name and role: Ian Parkes, Chief Executive

Signed: Ian Parkes' signature

Our diverse history and culture

Tower Hamlets has always been a borough committed to creating a cohesive, fair and inclusive community.

For many years new communities have settled in Tower Hamlets, because of the opportunities to trade, do business and raise their families, creating a vibrant and diverse borough.

One of the borough’s biggest strengths is its proud history of fighting racism and fascism and its continued commitment to diversity.

With over 137 languages spoken and 43 per cent of residents born in over 200 different countries, Tower Hamlets is one of the most diverse places in the country.

We recognise that achieving the bold vision set out by the Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Inequalities Commission will require shared action, ownership, and resources from the borough’s statutory, voluntary, community and private sector organisations.

We encourage all organisations in the borough to sign up this pledge and work with us to eradicate racism in the borough.

Organisations who sign up to this pledge will work to support and deliver the commitments set out in the Tower Hamlets Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Commission’s recommendations.

They will engage with the Tower Hamlets Race Equality Network and support them to monitor the delivery of the Commission’s recommendations, influence policy and decision making and facilitate a safe place for ongoing conversations about race equality in Tower Hamlets.

How to sign up to the pledge

You can complete an online form and your submission will be published.

Alternatively, you can download a paper copy of the form and please return it to raceinequalities@towerhamlets.gov.uk

We accept that your response will need to be proportionate to the size and resources of your organisation. However, we ask you to review your organisation and set challenging, ambitious and measured targets to ensure every effort is made to improve outcomes for our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

Please ensure your commitments are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based.