Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid has admitted there is "work to be done" to address issues around diversity within the organisation's management ©Getty Images

An open letter has called on the organisers of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to address their concerns around a lack of diversity within senior management roles.

The letter, signed by 51 prominent figures from across Birmingham has challenged Games organisers to address what they call a lack of diversity at the top.

It pledges support with addressing the diversity issue and also poses ten questions they want answered, as reported by Birmingham Live.

Earlier this month, Birmingham 2022 organisers were criticised because only one of 20 members of the Board of Directors and Executive Management is not white.

The Executive Management team consists of five white men and two white women, while its Board of Directors features seven white men, five white women and one black man.

In response to the criticism, Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid told insidethegames organisers were committed to ensuring their workforce "reflected the city and region in which we are operating," adding that steps are being taken to "improve representation and ensure equal opportunity for all."

However the letter is calling for more to be done claiming that little positive action has resulted after initial concerns were raised over a lack of diversity.

The letter, coordinated by Ammo Talwar, who chairs a schools trust and record label in the city, reads: "We are writing to express our disappointment at the responses from the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee 2022 towards the issues of perceived institutionalised racism and representational parity.

"We are also offering our support and assistance in dealing with these issues, as they affect businesses, communities and athletes alike.

"The 2022 Games are taking place in our name, and we all act as its ambassadors.

"It is clear that those driving the Games need urgent support to engage with communities and businesses, to make the Games truly inclusive and set a benchmark for future events.

"We feel the region's diverse, young and digital communities which won the Games are now being sidelined.

"The Games team must assess their involvement and complicity with systemic issues and privilege, and commit to transparency and action, with speed and a sense of civic mission.

"Words count for little if they are not followed by actions, to which named officers are held accountable.

"We call on the accountable party to commit to a speedy practical process of change and intervention."

The letter features the following ten questions to Birmingham 2022 organisers:

What are your smart targets and key performance indicators around race, gender, disability and social inclusion representation within your workforce?

Where can the public see your targets, audit your progress against collected data, and identify who is accountable?

Considering the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, and reflection on public policy, opinion and justice here in the United Kingdom, which Board members will stand down voluntarily, to make way for new voices from the black communities of Birmingham and beyond?

What percentage of jobs, contracts and procurement will go to our region’s black, Asian and socially deprived communities, and how will you achieve this?

How will you go beyond "widely advertising" roles to representationally hiring staff, and what impact will this have on regional skills and employment?

How much money is going to be ring-fenced for any additional onboarding, for example training and recruitment, and who will be responsible and accountable?

Will a credible, external and independent equalities review with a racial equality lens take place?

Will you confirm this review will be given authority to inform and reform recruitment, training and policy-making, prioritising inclusive leadership programmes to ensure this is never repeated in our city and region?

Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid said an initial roadmap was being developed to help increase diversity within the organisation's Board ©Birmingham 2022
Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid said an initial roadmap was being developed to help increase diversity within the organisation's Board ©Birmingham 2022

What actions will be taken to win back public confidence, and how can the city and region’s diverse communities be involved now and in the future?

How will a representational number of people with Commonwealth heritage be involved in this process, at a senior level?

insidethegames approached Birmingham 2022 for a comment about the latest criticism and were sent an extract of a letter from Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid in response.

It read: "I recognise that we have work to do. We’ve spent time listening and learning from honest and important conversations with community leaders. 

"We’ve been hearing about people’s concerns as well as their ambitions for Birmingham 2022.

"I will ensure we act on these conversations, continue this positive community dialogue and engagement, and we will be accountable for delivering progress.

"We have always been committed to delivering a ‘Games for Everyone’ and will continue to do so. Our common purpose is to bring people together and have our region shine on the global stage, in all its rich diversity.

"I’m aware of the responsibility that myself and my team carry to get this right, and we’ve been developing an initial roadmap to move forward positively.

"With two years to go to the start of the Games, we have a unique opportunity to forge even stronger relationships, connect more with the wider people across the West Midlands and break down barriers to ensure this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is seized by all. 

"The true measure of our impact will be the progress we make over the next two years."