We are proud of the diverse community we serve across the Black Country, and it is our ambition that our workforce represents this rich diversity.

Equality, diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is at the heart of all of our people programmes, with our actions creating a culture of inclusivity and a sense of belonging for all.​

Learn more about our commitment to EDI and our actions to achieving our ambitions.

The Black Country ICS has published its first Workforce Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy for 2023-27. The strategy has been developed in consultation and collaboration with system partners to address the on-going inequalities that persist in our society and across our NHS and Social Care organisations. The Black Country has a rich diversity of people (see population health profiles) who are our staff, patients and service users and we are committed to addressing the workforce inequalities experienced by staff with protected characteristics in the workplace (EDI data). The strategy focuses on the support available to the health and social care workforce, as well as the priorities and actions that will be taken to improve their work experience. See also our Black Country ICS EDI Strategy Summary.

Our first collaborative EDI strategy demonstrates how committed we are to ensuring that Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Human Rights is embedded into everything we do. We will be proactive and advance equality and inclusion for our staff within the Black Country. We value diversity and differences; we will promote equality and ensure that all our staff have a high-quality, caring experience at work. As a system we are committed to developing anti-racist organisations and building cultures where our staff feel safe, celebrated, and valued and can be their authentic self at work.

Watch this video to learn more about the Workforce Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy or view the video on YouTube:

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter is a campaign to showcase the diversity of colleagues who already work in the region. It highlights what is great about working in the Black Country.

The Next Generation of Senior Leaders (Positive Action Leadership Programme)​

As an employer in Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales), the Black Country Integrated Care System can choose to use the positive action measures in the Equality Act 2010 to help people overcome certain barriers and improve representation in our workforce.

  • The Next Generation of Senior Leaders Development Programme is designed to provide development and experiential learning for leaders from Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority backgrounds. This pilot programme is being delivered in partnership with NHS England Midlands EDI Team and is aimed at getting people from Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority backgrounds ready for Executive and Non-Executive roles in the future and creating a diverse talent pipeline for the Black Country ICS. We want to ensure the workforce is representative of our local community. ​
  • This programme supports the requirements of the NHS England Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Improvement Plan which is to improve the representation of colleagues from a Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority background at senior levels in the NHS. The plan can be found here NHS England » NHS equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) improvement plan. The programme is based on the four S’s​:
    • Self​. Participants will take part in a programme of workshops to support personal development and leadership skills designed to enable and assure a move into a senior leadership role from the skills and knowledge gained.​
    • Strategic​. Participants will take part in the ‘Effective Board Member’ Programme which has already been delivered to over 1000 individuals globally. This will equip participants with the skills and knowledge to successfully progress into executive and non-executive leadership positions.​
    • Succession​. A ‘Bravery in the Boardroom’ masterclass, the unique methodology will help participants understand the steps to success and the journey to the boardroom. The session will inspire and empower participants and provide practical insights on how to lead authentically at the Executive and Board level.​
    • Sponsorship​. A supportive framework designed for participants and their sponsors to focus on advocacy and action to help participants move forward in their careers.​

  • We recognise the barriers that colleagues from Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority backgrounds face and have created this programme to help break down the organisation and cultural barriers to progression for talented leaders from these groups. We will help participants to demystify board-level roles, raise aspirations, and develop board-level skills.​
  • It is well documented that diversity at the executive level and in the Boardroom provides much-needed diversity of thought and contributes to organisations making better decisions, resulting in better outcomes for the workforce and patients.​
  • The programme is specifically designed to support career progression and increase exposure to operating at Executive and Board levels and will equip participants with the skills to be in a state of readiness to implement a sphere of influence within their organisation.​
  • Specifically, we will work with sponsors to provide genuine commitment and ensure there is accountability and support during career progression.​

Reverse Mentoring for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Train the trainer programme​

The Reverse Mentoring for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion train-the-trainer programme aims to address inequity within and across organisations and is a systemic change intervention. Reverse mentoring for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion should complement the range of existing mentoring and coaching interventions that already exist within organisations as evidence has shown that when implemented well, it can support significant personal and organisational learning.​

  • An inclusive culture in which individuals feel valued and respected is directly linked to better patient outcomes and positive workplace cultures. Reverse mentoring for equality, diversity, and inclusion is a powerful way of making this positive culture a reality by tackling inequity across the Black Country System.​
  • There is a strong moral. legal and business case for achieving greater equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion. Although the benefits of equality, diversity, and inclusion are understood by many leaders and managers, this understanding does not often translate into tangible action which results in healthy and positive workplace cultures.​
  • This programme will seek to support a greater understanding of yourself and of the organisation or system you work within. It recognises the importance of building relationships that go beyond everyday functional roles. It seeks to build relationships that are genuine and able to create transformational change and action with equality, diversity, and inclusion. Participants will be trained to reverse mentor colleagues who in turn will undertake training and identify potential change agents within their respective organisations The aim is to have a pool of trained mentors and mentees across the Black Country System who can advocate for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and identify projects and/ or initiatives that will support greater equity and fairness within their respective workplace.​
  • Reverse mentoring for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion seeks to break down traditional barriers of status and power and is beneficial for both the individuals involved and the wider organisation. Mentors become empowered to communicate with senior leaders - who in turn are enabled to promote and foster a learning environment that supports sustainable change in diversity and inclusion in the workplace.​
  • The purpose of the programme is to enable real change to take place inside the organisation during the programme and after the programme concludes. It is anticipated that once trained you will be involved in initiatives that will increase fairness and equality within your respective organisation identified as part of the mentoring relationship. To create more equitable ways of working, we must listen respectfully, appreciatively, and with curiosity and engage with each other as equal partners in change. It is for this reason that this programme is based on principles of equality, reciprocity, and creating fairness within organisations.​

  • Our Staff Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Networks are all about people; they are about progressive change; they are all about supporting the employee journey and inspiring a feeling of belonging. Within the Black Country Integrated Care System we want to celebrate and recognise the multiple benefits that staff networks/resource groups offer, Research in 2020/21 showed that 51% of workers wanted to join a network as they returned to working in shared physical spaces. Nearly 40% of organisations rely on their networks to keep them informed on the well-being of employees.​
  • As a result our ICS EDI Staff Network Forum has been established to ensure active engagement and participation with all employees with a protected characteristic, especially with those from marginalised groups and minority backgrounds. The ICS EDI Staff Network Forum is essential to support inclusivity across the ICS. The forum plays an important role in ensuring that all staff have a voice and are heard and listened to about matters that are important to them regarding equality, diversity, and inclusion. The forum also considers the intersectionality of staff who come from varying different backgrounds. ​
  • The EDI Staff Network Forum is run by and for the members, with support from the Black Country ICS People Team. Members of the forum will share ownership of the network with the members, through building momentum and engagement across their sphere of influence. They will support and participate in our EDI programme of work at pace and scale to support and embed a climate of inclusion and belonging across the ICS. ​
  • The main purpose of the forum is to ensure a welcoming and inclusive psychologically safe space for staff with a protected characteristic.  Members of the forum will support individual needs and identify characteristics, including visible and invisible. Forum members will bring this all together around a shared purpose where members act as peers based on exchange and curiosity, trust, respect, and empathy. 

Our EDI e-brochure for the Healthier Futures Black Country ICS has been developed to showcase the breadth of EDI good practice that is taking place across health and care in the Black Country, contributing to making it the best place to work for everyone. The recent work undertaken by system partners is highlighted in this e-brochure and demonstrates how each partner organisation is working towards fulfilling our core purpose: to reduce the gap in different experiences and outcomes for all of our colleagues, service users and patients living in our local communities.