Simon Woolley to Chair Downing St Race Disparity Advisory group


Today, the Prime Minister Theresa May announced that Operation Black Vote’s director Simon Woolley would chair the Race Disparity Advisory group at Downing Street.

The Advisory group will help steer the next phase from the ground breaking Race Disparity Unit, that has uncovered many persistent race inequalities that continue to blight the lives of tens of thousands of BME individuals. The mandate for the group will be to challenge, steer and support Government Departments, to develop interventions to tackle the disparities in the Race Disparity Audit, and drive civil society, business, and Local Government to take action.

Its chair Simon Woolley said: ‘It is a huge honour to chair this group which has so many impressive individuals. But our goal is clear: with the Prime Minister Theresa May’s full support we aim to work with Ministers, senior civil servants, business leaders and community leaders and collectively close race inequality gaps’.

The PM and her  Government have shown their commitment to this project by announcing a £90 million pound youth fund to help ensure young BME men and women, and those of a working class background, can get into work. How and where the funding goes, via the Big Lottery, will be shaped by the evidence from the Race Disparity Unit. The RD Advisory group will also advise Ministers.

Baroness Ruby McGregor, who is also on the Advisory group said, ”As a former FTSE CEO for too long I’ve seen racial disadvantage, my report, The McGregor Review into race inequality and employment also highlighted these challenges . We hope that this group will drive urgent change with the biggest private companies and the smaller ones too. For too long BME talent has been locked out. That’s got to change".

Simon Woolley was intervewed today on the Today Programme at 7.15am

Staff reporter

Those in the picture starting from the left of Simon Woolley: Zamila Bunglawala - Cabinet Office; Nero Ugwujabo - Downing St; Arun Batra - Ernst & Young; Carol Lake - JP Morgan; Samuel Kasumi - Elevation Network; Anne Foster - Sony; Jeremy Crook - BTEG; Baroness Ruby McGregor-Author of ‘Race in the Workplace’; Rupert Yorke - Cabinet Office; Marcus Bell - Cabinet Office.


 The RDA Advisory Group members are: Arun Bhatra, Ernst & Young; Jeremy Crook, Black Training and Enterprise Group; Carol Lake, JP Morgan; Anne Foster, SONY; Samuel Kasumu, Elevation Network; and Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, Author of ‘Race in the Workplace’