In April 2013, Sir Bob Kerslake, chair of the main honours committee, met with more than 30 voluntary and charitable organisations to encourage more honours nominations for women, people from ethnic minorities and people from certain regions of the UK.
“We feel our honours system has a lot of support and is held in very high regard,” he said. “But we are not getting enough nominations from particular parts of the population.”
Kerslake said he wanted to see an increase in the number of nominations for people from black and ethnic minorities, which account for only 6 per cent of nominations. “We are concerned about the number of awards we are making to people from black and ethnic minority groups,” said Kerslake.
Sir Bob is right. While there has been some progress in the diversity of honours recipients in recent years, there remains room for improvement. According to the most recent 2011 census, people from ethnic minority communities in the UK comprise around 11% of the population. Yet in the last two honours lists, people from ethnic minorities received 6% and 5% of the honours respectively. This discrepancy is particularly surprising given that reasearch shows people from ethnic minority communities have higher levels of social entrepreneurship and charitable contributions.
People from ethnic minority communities should look to Nina Amin MBE for inspiration. Like many other honours recipients, Nina received her MBE for a combination of both her professional and charitable commitments. Nina has an impressive record of achievement. As a Tax Partner for KMPG she has promoted diversity in the financial services industry and has championed the Asian business community.
Is there someone you think deserves an honour for their work and achievements?
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