With The New Years Honours List 2015 now a talking point, the honours system continues to strive to ensure that a diverse range of people receive a highly deserved and prestigious accolade from The Queen.
The honours system has been praised in recent years for reducing the gender divide by giving more gongs to women. Karren Brady (pictured above) received a CBE in 2013 and was a true advocate of more women being recognised for their achievements. Unfortunately, the same increase has not yet been established for the number of honours recipients of ethnic minority, or for a greater regional diversity within The Honours List.
Head of the civil service, Sir Bob Kerslake feels the system needs to improve to represent increased diversity in modern British culture, he says:
“That’s one of the key things that we want to achieve, anybody can nominate anybody for an honour and we see that as crucially important, we want the honours system to represent this country.
“We’ve done really well increasing the proportion of women, in 2014 they exceeded the number of men, but we’ve still got work to do in terms of the other communities in this country.”
It seems that the problem lies with the lack of nominations being put forward. The percentage of honours given to people from black and ethnic minorities has remained on average at 6% for the past eight years.
In fact, ethnic communities made up 12% of the population in the last census in 2011 and there are estimates it could now be closer to 14%. Hence the need to widen diversity in the Honours List to more accurately reflect our increasingly diverse communities.
There is also the ongoing regional debate when it comes to the location of honours recipients. We know that the Cabinet Office receives a greater proportion of nominations from the South East than from anywhere else in the country, but again this is not necessarily reflective of the spread of good work being achieved across the UK.
Discussing the lack of regional representation in The List, Sir Bob said: “We encourage nominations from all sections of society from all over the country and we’d particularly like to see more people from the West Midlands region receiving recognition for their achievements.
“Some people may think honours are largely reserved for certain professions or backgrounds but they really are for everyone who has done a great job for their community and helped make the country a better place to live.
“Recipients have included people who have spent years fostering children, raising money for charity, made a difference by serving tirelessly on committees, helping people to take part in sports or doing valuable work in the voluntary sector.”
The honours system is open to nominations from all over the UK. Anyone can nominate someone for an award and anyone can receive an award, the honours system is based purely on merit, not on postcode.
So when considering whether to nominate someone for an honour, look not at who they are, or where they are, focus on their achievements and the impact of their work, and make sure they get a chance to receive the recognition they deserve by putting forward a compelling nomination.
We would like to see The Honours List contain an upward trend of recipients from all walks of life, but only you can make that happen. For an honest, no obligation, confidential assessment of your nominee’s chances of success call Awards Intelligence now on +44 (0)1444 230130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: individuals profiled or referred to on this Blog are not necessarily clients of Awards Intelligence.