Honorary Captain Durdan Ansari addressing the audience at the launch of the Royal Navy Race and Diversity Network
Honorary Captain Durdan Ansari addressing the audience at the launch of the Royal Navy Race and Diversity Network (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

Royal Navy launches Race Diversity Network

Honorary Captain Durdan Ansari addressing the audience at the launch of the Royal Navy Race and Diversity Network
Honorary Captain Durdan Ansari addressing the audience at the launch of the Royal Navy Race and Diversity Network (Picture: Royal Navy).

The Royal Navy has launched a new network to act as a central point for all issues relating to race and racial diversity across the service.

The Royal Navy said the new Race Diversity Network will support its diverse membership and "promote an inclusive culture". 

They added "the uncomfortable truth is that discrimination exists in our society we can't, and we shouldn't, shy away from that", with the Race Diversity Network giving commanders confidence in creating a culture of anti-racism.

Bringing together all branches of the Royal Navy, the network will push diversity with a single voice, while also being supported by partner organisations – such as the Royal Navy Commonwealth Network, RAF BAME Network and Army Multicultural Network.

Honorary Captain Durdana Ansari formally launched the network at HMS Collingwood, Hampshire.

Watch: Five or fewer Black Caribbean, Asian officers are ranked Colonel or above.

"Members of our ethnic minority communities have so much potential in them and our Armed Forces need to create an environment to embrace them," she said.

"It will be detrimental to the health of our nation if we discourage 14% of our population from taking a role in national defence only because of racial, religious, or ethnic bias against them.

"I see employee support networks such as the Race Diversity Network as a positive step to creating a healthy environment where everyone can thrive."

Existing groups, such as the Commonwealth Network, will continue dealing with issues facing Navy personnel overseas – such as visas, immigration and family matters.

However, the Race Diversity Network will concentrate on race issues affecting people from the UK.