RCM calls for more BME representation in leadership positions across the NHS at TUC Black Workers’ Conference

on 12 April 2019 Leadership

The lack of BME leadership across the NHS is the focus of a Royal College of Midwives (RCM) motion at the TUC Black Workers’ Conference which gets underway in London today.

BME staff make up 18% of the overall NHS workforce, but only 7% of all hold senior manager positions. 

In London these figures are even starker, 40% of London’s population is from a BME background, 43% of the NHS workforce is, but only 14% of board level positions are held by people from a BME background.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Black Workers Conference takes place in London from Friday 12th April to Sunday, 14th April 2019.

Commenting, Alice Sorby Employment Relations Advisor at Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said; “For an NHS which truly treats all service users with respect, dignity and compassion we need an inclusive, diverse leadership and engaged workforce.

 “In 2015 we saw the introduction of the Workforce Race Equality Standard aimed at addressing the lack of BME staff in senior leadership positions and since its introduction there have been some improvements, but there is still a lot more to do.

 “We also know there is a clear link between the levels of discrimination staff experience and the levels of confidence and trust patients have in staff.

We need open, frank conversations about discrimination in the NHS, we need to listen to staff at all levels, and we need leaders that reflect the diversity of staff and the wider population they care for. Without this we can’t hope to provide a truly inclusive service that treat service users with dignity, respect and compassion.”

The RCM is committed to ensuring Equality and Diversity in the workplace read more here:



For more information in the TUC’s Black Workers Conference visit their website here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/


To contact the RCM Media Relations Team call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].



Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/