Vince Cable begins "serious attack on lack of diversity"
Please show which side you are on by signing this petition to Brandon Lewis MP, Minister for Housing, which asks him to encourage Midland Heart to demonstrate its commitment to race equality by employing executive directors who are from communities it works within.

Race matters confirms Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business.

Cable wants 1 in 5 executive directors to be from Black and Asian  minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

Karen Blackett, chief executive of MediaCom, agrees with Cable,  BAME executives act as "real models" she says. They also provide "a mixture of skills, experience and perspectives" argues Yvonne Atkinson, director of the Board Development Agency.

Cables worries BAME are seriously "under underrepresented" on executive boards. He adds, the situation for ethnic minority diversity at the top of business has gotten worse.

A recent report by the Green Park finds levels of public sector BAME executives "almost defies analysis". Cables says, "if we are serious about diversity and using the talent of all community … we have to address that issue".

An Inside Housing  survey of 40 UK's largest housing associations finds despite 60 per cent change of board members since 2010,  ethnic composition of their governing bodies remains "static".

A survey of Midland Heart executive board confirms Inside Housing findings.

Since 2009, three  executives have resigned: Olu Olanrewaju, Tom Murtha and Chris Munday. There have been five appointments: Ruth Cooke, Chief Executive; Glenn Harris, Finance Director;  Sara Beamand, Care and Support Director; Andrew Foster, Governance and Contracts Director; and , Joe Reeves,  Business Development Director.

All five executive director appointees is white.

Chuka Umunna, Shadow Business Secretary, says: "I don't accept that there are not black and minority and women of sufficient quality and talent who merit appointment to our boards".

Although Midland Heart has broken the "glass ceiling"  for women, there remains what Trevor Phillips, former Racial Equality Commission chair, describes as an "ivory ceiling".

But when challenge about its ethnic executive deficit, Midland Heart's executive Michelle Musgrave says, ethnicity has no bearing on a person's ability to her job. 

A disconnect between Musgrave's claim is apparent when her company's "five interrelated values" is matched against existential fact:  "Equality of opportunity is an integral part of the way we work and diversity of our workforce reflects the communities that we work within".

However, if Midland Heart's executive directors reflects local ethnic communities 3 would be BAME and five white.

Cable's 1 in 5 ethnic minority executive director scheme seems geared to correct the disconnect between Midland Heart's "five interrelated values" and reality.

If implement, it would mean a BAME executive providing a "real model" to ethnic minority kids growing up in Birmingham. 

Midland Heart's  current position doesn't "transform lives" for the better. Instead it  sends the wrong message to alienated and disaffected local minority ethnic communities: the future is bright, the future is white.

"Let's acknowledge white privilege, to do otherwise is to deny race inequality": paul gordon. Nuff said!