By Selina Moyo, Black Minority Ethnic Action Plan Coordinator
On 24 June representatives from different Black Minority Ethnic Staff Networks (BMESNs) gathered in Cardiff Bay to set up a forum where BMESNs from Welsh Public Sector organisations could:
- share ideas, resources and good practice;
- learn about different initiatives to support BME development, and
- explore and address issues applicable to BME staff and BME Networks.
The event was opened by the Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM, who congratulated the staff networks for coming together and urged them to continue working together in order to bring about changes in their workplace and communities.
“We cannot progress as a nation unless all members of our society are fully supported and reflected in our public services … such networking opportunities give us an opportunity to see how best we can better engage with each other and support the communities that we work for.”
The event was well attended, and speakers included: the Deputy Minister for Health, Vaughan Gething AM; Director of Resources for the National Assembly for Wales and BME Champion, Dave Tosh; the Assistant Director, Head of Complaints Unit at Welsh Government, Sanjiv Vedi; Yangi Vundamina, from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Tola Munro from Gwent Police Ethnic Minority Association (GEMA).
Discussions focused on the role of BME Networks, in supporting staff development, in the workplace.
Participants agreed to set up a forum and meet regularly, to enable a deeper discussion of the themes that came up during the event. Already support for future meetings has come from the ONS, the Welsh Government and Diverse Cymru and Race Council Cymru.
The event was the start of an engagement process that will establish relationships to allow the support of BME staff development in the Welsh Public Sector, thus ensuring that organisations are representative of all the people they serve.
The event was initiated as part of the Assembly’s on-going BME Action Plan project which is aimed at addressing BME representation among the organisation’s workforce and to raise awareness of and promote the National Assembly for Wales as a diverse employer. To find out more about the BME action Plan contact firstname.lastname@example.org.