Bristol’s Race Equality Strategic Leaders Group

This case study is an example of a city wide forum which brings together public sector organisations to tackle race inequality in the city.

Bristol’s Race Equality Strategic Leaders Group was first established in August 2015, in response to the Manifesto for Race Equality, bringing together public sector organisations in the city to work collaboratively to tackle the endemic issues the Manifesto raised and to make a difference to our communities. The Manifesto’s vision was to ensure Bristol becomes ‘a place where race is no barrier to opportunities and success and where all can thrive in what this dynamic City has to offer’.

The group is a city-wide forum which now has full attendance and representation from all (16) Major Public Sector agencies in the City (all Health trusts, Universities, Criminal Justice agencies and the City Council), as well as excellent support and scrutiny from wider strategic race equality partners.

The group collectively sets strategic annual and meets bi-monthly to decision make and drive delivery of annual work plans. The key aim being to improve the opportunities and experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals and take an action centred approach to making a difference for our communities.

Key Achievements

Bristol’s city-wide Race Equality data products

This key strategic project transparently presents how all major public sector agencies (and now other sector partners) in the City are performing in terms of race equality data, including detail on key H.R. indicators such as representation, pay, grievance, disciplinary and sickness data for over 40,000 employees within Bristol.

This detailed work goes way beyond statutory guidelines for race data reporting with the aim of ensuring we achieve greater diversity and equality within our organisations.

Lord Woolley and the Cabinet Office commended this work highlighting Bristol as leading the way nationally. This project also won ‘The Transparency Award’ at the Global Equality and Diversity Awards for being a first of its kind on a city wide level in the country.

This data report is produced bi-annually to openly present performance and monitor trends and challenges in relation to disparities of pay, sickness and other key metrics between ethnic groups. This is a key part of a performance-driven improvement journey which has evidenced progress and improvements against the above key measures between versions 1 and 2 due to the supporting action plans in place to tackle these matters arising.

Bristol’s Race Equality Gathering

The recent Race Equality Gathering was a first for Bristol on a city-wide level, taking a significant step forward in connecting the city on tackling race inequality.

Over 70 key race equality leaders attended with the focus on connecting the work of the city’s eight key race equality groups with the outcomes being :-

  • Delivering a series of race equality events on a wide range of key themes.
  • Delivering a wider annual event to engage the whole city and our communities.

Feedback from attendees has been extremely positive with lots of enthusiasm shared about working collectively in future to maximise impact.

Race and the City” – Bristol hosting a national Race Equality Conference

The group delivered a high profile and impactive Race and the City Conference for stakeholders throughout the city and beyond with regional and national attendance.

Over 250 local and national delegates attended, creating lasting networks, sharing good practice and discussing future opportunities and challenges for tackling Race Inequality.

This conference generated significant community and media interest and helped to showcase the vast array of progressive multi agency initiatives already underway.

Success factors

Committed support from the city’s strategic political and officer leaders has been critical to the success.

Group meetings are attended by CEOs and Strategic Leaders from many of our city’s major employers, as well as being attended by Bristol’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Asher Craig.

Also significant is the work of the city’s H.R. Leaders group which acts as an operational delivery group to tackle strategic aims, as well as the group having a dedicated delivery manager to ensure the work of the group is promoted to wider partners and that projects are delivered in partnership outside of meetings.


Ensuring Strategic Representation from organisations – one to one meetings and promotion of the successful outputs produced has helped encourage appropriate representation.

Gaining full representation of the city’s public sector – this has taken time with many presentations; however each meeting is now extremely well attended with committed leaders.

Funding and resource for work of the group - members have been innovative in collectively co-funding the work of the group via shared resourcing to enable the group to be proactive and wide-reaching.


  • Vitally important is the committed support from the city’s strategic political and officer leaders who are driving this work to ensure we make a significant difference from leadership level.
  • Invest time in promoting collaborative working to potential new group members and contributors.
  • Ambition of continuous improvement and expansion.
  • Transparent approaches.
  • Engage all partners in the setting of shared work programmes and action plans.

Useful links

Link to our online home where all our documents and outputs can be accessed :-

Race and the City Conference film 

Version 2 of Bristol’s City-wide Public Sector H.R. Race Equality Data Product 

Press releases 

Civil Service World article 

Global Equality and Diversity Transparency Award


Bristol 24/7 

Council contact

Andrew Mallin  -  [email protected]

Bristol Race Equality Strategic Leaders Group, delivery manager.