From education to employment

CEL’s Black Leadership Initiative Recognised at the British Diversity Awards

The Black Leadership Initiative (BLI) won the coveted Diversity in Education Champion prize at the 2005 British Diversity Awards on Friday 17 June 2005 in London.

Sponsored by the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL), the BLI’s work involves addressing the under representation of black and minority ethnic staff in management positions for people in the age group of 16 and over. The BLI intends to provide a variety of opportunities for staff from these groups who lack the broad management experience required to pursue a senior post in their chosen sector to help further their management skills and knowledge. The BLI also aims to encourage staff and provide them with the confidence to apply for these positions.

After receiving the award on Friday, programme director Rajinder Mann said: “Our work has had an impact on individual development and on organisational cultural change across the sector. BLI is a model of excellence in that it engages both black and white staff in the solutions for eradicating race discrimination and promotes the growth of BME staff into middle and senior management positions. We are honoured to receive this award and pleased to have the recognition it bestows.”

Building Capacity and Raising Aspirations

The overall objective of the BLI is to build capacity and provide skills and experience, in order to raise aspirations among black and minority ethnic (BME) staff, as well as raise their profile by creating networking opportunities to promote race equality and to increase the number of BME senior managers in the FE sector.

Since its launch in October 2002, BLI has delivered an impressive 60 mentoring partnerships, creating a pool of 122 trained mentors and coordinated 14 secondments and 34 work shadowing placements. It has also introduced four career development seminars and two national conferences.

BLI chairperson Stella Moubaegbu commented on the number of talented and well-qualified BME managers who would make exceptional principals. “We believe that our positive action programmes will help many of them to get the broad experience and recognition they need in order to progress into senior and principal positions. This should have an impact on succession planning too,” she said.

Lynne Sedgemore, Chief Executive of CEL added: “I am naturally delighted with this accolade and hope that it will highlight the importance of positive action on diversity.”

CEL is fully committed to improving diversity in leadership within the sector, and BLI has a significant role in improving its vision.

Kavita Trivedi

Have you been part of the BLI? Tell us in the FE Blog

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