Nominations open for BME pioneers list

Posted by: James Marcus - Posted on:

Introduction Text:

The NHS Leadership Academy is proud to be supporting the HSJ’s BME pioneers list.

HSJ BME Pioneers_Horizontal_RGBThe list will celebrate people who – through their exceptional leadership, passion and outstanding abilities – are helping to create and deliver excellent care for all.

A panel of expert judges will decide on the final list, which will be published during November, and is also supported by the British Medical Association and NHS Employers.

Nominees are welcomed from all areas of the healthcare sector and from clinical and non-clinical backgrounds. You can suggest names either via Twitter using hashtag #HSJBME or by completing the box on the HSJ’s website.

Black History Month

Our Senior Lead for Inclusion, Yvonne Coghill OBE, is also blogging throughout October to mark Black History Month and to celebrate inspirational BME people.

2 replies on “Nominations open for BME pioneers list”

  • If I could preface my comments by saying that I feel that the motivation and the intent behind enhancing engagement with people from all demographic groups in NHS leadership is admirable and the sincerity and the sentiment behind the award is not remotely in question, in my mind.
    Having said that, I do believe that the creation of a leadership award in which skin colour is the ‘ticket of entry’ makes me feel deeply, deeply uncomfortable.
    We each have multiple identities, be it ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic group, place of birth, languages spoken, football team supported and so on. So why single out a special award category just based on the amount of skin melatonin?
    I’m English, British, of Punjabi origin, was born in London, am male, am a turban-wearing Sikh, am a doctor, am a GP, love the theatre, speak fluent Spanish…So why is it that it’s my skin colour that would allow me to be a candidate for this award, as if that’s the single most important thing about me?
    Why would someone with less skin melatonin be exempted from being nominated for a leadership award, despite, for example, having to overcome many more socio-economic hurdles than I’ve had to face? Would we ever countenance a leadership award for ‘Non-Black, Non-Ethnic Minority People’ and how would my anglo-saxon compatriots feel about being potentially nominated for such an award? Should we, for example, go the whole hog and have an apartheid system for our leadership awards based on the census classifications i.e. ‘best afro-caribbean leader’ ‘best white british leaders’ and so on? Does that feel morally right? Well, I feel uncomfortable and it seems to jar with my ethics….
    I do hope that anyone reading my comments will accept that I pose the above questions with the greatest sincerity and I fully appreciate that there will be many other views.
    But I did feel that the above questions needed to be asked and I apologise in advance if I have inadvertently caused any offence.
    I do hope my comments will trigger an informed, intelligent debate.

    DrJagdeesh Singh Dhaliwal
  • Dear Dr Dhaliwal. I think your comments and concerns are entirely valid and are welcomed as a trigger for debate. This is something which indeed regularly features in discussions that I have with colleagues working in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion. It does not pass us by that we use the word “inclusion” and then promote events / awards / activities (such as Black History Month which we are celebrating as we speak) which effectively exclude large portions of the workforce / population.

    I welcome the debate – but would ask only that we include everyone in that debate equally – including (not exhaustively) lesbian, gay and bisexual, disabled and trans staff and their representative bodies. I have similar debates with them on a regular basis as well – and also with female colleagues who are constantly and consistently divided on the merits of “women’s” awards / initiatives.

    I would encourage you to raise this issue at any relevant events that you might attend over the next few months and I will endeavour to do the same in my capacity at NHS Employers. I will also undertake to raise this as a topic for focus in our Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week in May 2014 – and try to find out if there is a national consensus over what the approach of the NHS should be in this area in the future.

    Thank you for sharing your views Dr Dhaliwal.

    Paul Deemer

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