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Equity to take ‘positive action’ to redress ethnic imbalance on council

Equity council members Equity council members
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Equity has announced it will actively encourage black, Asian and ethnic minority members to stand in forthcoming council elections, in a bid to improve the diversity of the union’s decision-making body.

Only one member of Equity’s 31-strong council is from a BAME background – Peggy-Ann Fraser, who is the minority ethnic members specialist councillor.

In a recent meeting, the council agreed to encourage Equity’s BAME members to stand in the forthcoming elections, for which ballot papers will be sent out in June.

Equity assistant general secretary Martin Brown said the union did not monitor the ethnicity of its members, but a 2013 survey – which was undertaken by approximately 3,000 members – saw about 8% identify as BAME.

Brown told The Stage: “Clearly, one person out of 31 is not representative of the membership as we know it… Diversity is a very important issue across the industry and Equity cannot exempt itself from that.”

He added that the council would undertake “positive action” in the coming weeks in encouraging all members to consider standing for positions on the council, but that it would state its intention to address the issue of BAME under-representation.

Equity’s council is made up of general list councillors, national and area councillors and specialist councillors, alongside its officers, led by president Malcolm Sinclair and general secretary Christine Payne.

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