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first_img Comments are closed. Plans togive awards to companies for taking part in a Government-backed scheme to boostethnic minorities at work have come under fire from HR leaders.Kay Allen,equal opportunities and diversity manager at B&Q, said the plan to revampthe Commission for Racial Equality’s Leadership Challenge did not go far enoughand could undermine the initiative’s credibility.Allen said,“I don’t think the scheme provides a strong enough framework, and I am unsureabout the award system. There are now so many award schemes that they arelosing credibility.”The CRElaunched the challenge in partnership with the Government in 1997 to encouragebusiness leaders to champion the cause of racial equality. However, after theinitiative failed to win board-level support, the Commission announced it wouldrelaunch the challenge in March. The CBIalso questioned the level of support for the Leadership Challenge. Policyadvisor Simon Blake said, “Despite its disappointing performance in the privatesector, the CBI supports the challenge. “The dangeris that it will remain a paper commitment.”Businessesjoining the revamped challenge will have to set timetabled targets for ethnicminority recruitment. B&Q’sAllen said, “Just getting companies to draw up one set of targets is not enough– we need to constantly strive to set new targets and improve standards. TheLeadership Challenge needs to become more customer-focused if it is to get moresupport from business.” At the moment it is too internally focused.At theconsultation meeting last week business leaders claimed companies wererecruiting more ethnic minority staff, but not at management level.PeterDavis, group chief executive of Sainsbury’s, admitted that only 4 per cent ofthe chain’s managers were from ethnic minorities, while John Lewis chairmanStuart Hampson said that 7.8 per cent of its management grade staff were fromethnic minorities. By RichardStaines Ethnic minorities plan fails to convince firmsOn 5 Dec 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more