How housing providers can help tackle racial discrimination27 November 2013
Racial discrimination is still a problem in the UK, which impacts all stages of life. To name a few examples, we know that three out of every five people from minority ethnic backgrounds fear discrimination will affect their opportunities in education, training, business and employment, that almost half of all Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers earn less than £7 per hour, that young Asian women have been hit by the biggest rise in unemployment over the past decade; that Black pupils are less likely to get five or more A* to C grades at GCSE than white pupils; that Gypsy and Roma Traveller and Irish Traveller children were four times more likely to be permanently excluded from school; and that Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi students are less likely to go to more prestigious universities or to get higher class degrees.
Institutional racism can be something which is seen as ‘too hard’ to end, however if enough people and organisations take action we can cause a systemic shift towards ending racial inequality. In order to make change individuals and organisations need to feel empowered to take action in their own lives, workplaces and communities. We set out our pledge system so that people can be proud of what they are already doing to take on inequality, be inspired to take action, and quantify what they could do to make change.
Community organisations must play an essential role in making this change, and a few weeks ago the Guardian Professional Housing Network published a piece which outlined suggested actions that housing providers could take to tackle racial inequalities in their areas.
Here is an extract:
” Provide opportunities for employment, education and training in areas where BME groups live.
In Birmingham, for example, not one of the major companies or housing organisations has its head office in the heavily BME-populated area of Handsworth.
Be bold, adventurous and go out of your way to find and contract more work to local small businesses.
Small businesses are often run by or support BME communities.
Engage and employ BME groups in line with area statistics.
And insist that primary and secondary contractors do the same.
Provide more opportunities for pre-apprenticeships.
Introducing young people to work at an earlier age, even while they are still studying, can give them a huge advantage when it comes to entering the labour market for the first time.
Support and encourage BME groups with culturally sensitive mentoring and coaching.
Ensure these courses are delivered by trained and experienced people who can help to retain BME groups on training schemes and in the workplace.
Six-in-10 work opportunities are not advertised, cementing the old status quo.”
Read more of the article here.