The City of Wolverhampton Council has received the RACE Equality Code Quality Mark in recognition of its improvement in race equality and ability to tackle discrimination in the workplace.

The Race Equality Code, encompassing Reporting, Action, Composition, and Education, was established by Dr Karl George MBE in 2020 to support organisations in fostering race equality and creating opportunities for diverse leadership, It is grounded in charters, current laws, pledges and reports. 

To be awarded the mark, the council had to go through an in-depth, independent assessment, looking at how inclusive the authority is of staff and customers, and develop an action plan for further improvement. 

Dr George MBE said: “The council is evidently working hard towards achieving the Race Equality Code Quality Mark. Our initial assessment found a robust governance structure, a strong corporate EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) strategy and supporting objectives, actions that we consider very likely to move the dial extensively on race equality. A real strength was the commitment and unified approach of the leadership team to address challenges."

Councillor Stephen Simkins, Acting Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "This independent accreditation is a testament to the rigorous and honest self-assessment we undertook to demonstrate our inclusivity and commitment to providing a safe workspace for our staff, where everybody has an opportunity to thrive. 

"In recent years, we have fortified our dedication to equality, diversity and inclusion, with the expansion of our EDI team and the investments from senior leadership. We're proud to highlight some of the initiatives implemented in line with our EDI priorities, including race and gender diverse interview panels for every job role, Brilliant Leaders and other management development courses, the expansion and promotion of internal mentors allowing people from underrepresented groups in senior positions to work with senior leaders, and so much more.

"While we celebrate the achievements to date, we are conscious that the work for equality doesn’t stop. This milestone affirms our commitment, but is just the next step in the continuous work at pursuing racial equality and creating authentic and sustainable change without our organisation, and serves as a beacon for us to create best-practice-based action plans that align with our ongoing EDI strategy."

Solomon Scott, Senior EDI Advisor, added: "I am really proud of what we've achieved, but more so impressed with the involvement and buy in at the highest levels of the council. It's very important that those at the top understand why this work is necessary and to support it every step of the way, and I look forward to witnessing how the Race Equality Code and soon to be developed RACE Action Plan develop and showcase the next steps of our equality journey. 

"This is just beginning; challenges presented to us in the recent past have reignited the conversation about EDI but at Wolverhampton we continue to build momentum." 

The accreditation will remain in place until 2026.