America’s Rooney Rule could be adopted by Warwick District Council to bring more members of the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community into senior management roles.
The recommendation was one of ten put forward by a task and finish group chaired by Labour group leader Cllr Mini Mangat (Lab, Leamington Willes) and considered at this week’s cabinet meeting.
The Rooney Rule is a USA NFL policy requiring every team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one or more diverse candidates.
In 2009, it was expanded to include general manager jobs and equivalent front office positions.
A report ahead of this week’s meeting explained: “The introduction of the Rooney Rule is considered appropriate for the council to promote a more inclusive senior management team.
"Application of the rule for key managerial positions requires a racially diverse set of candidates for consideration and will widen the talent pool.
“Within the information provided to the task and finish group, no member of SMT [senior management team] identifies as BAME [Black, Asian and minority ethnic] which is not reflective of the wider organisation and community.
“It is recognised that to promote engagement with the wider community and to encourage a more diverse workforce, the community and applicants will look to see themselves within senior positions. The lack of BAME representation in senior management is considered to have a direct effect on the wider recruitment and engagement from and with the community.
“A positive change of culture is needed within the council to help achieve a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”
The report explained that the BAME community make up 10.32 per cent of workforce, roughliy in line with Warwickshire’s population figures although the workforce was not evenly spread across the pay grades.
Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Cllr Mangat said: “This work did come with its challenges but, with the recommendations, I think this council will be stepping in the right direction and particularly with the aspirations of moving forward to becoming an anti-racist council.”
Cllr Richard Hales (Con, Kenilworth Abbey and Arden) added: “This is a phenomenal piece of work that has been incredibly well led by Cllr Mangat.”
And council leader Cllr Andrew Day (Con, Bishop’s Tachbrook) said: “This is a very hard-working council from a diversity point of view but the work is never done and we must remain vigilant and I’m grateful for the genuine hard work from members. It needs to be taken seriously and I hope you have seen tonight that that is the intention of this cabinet.”
The council’s overview and scrutiny committee have asked for a timetable to be presented at their meeting next month with the progress and impact of recommendations being reported to them in 12 months.