This community has been identified through our diversity monitoring as one of the most under-represented group in health data science, as compared to the wider UK population. We recognise that this group experiences high levels of discrimination and maltreatment, as referred to in our statement on anti-Black discrimination; therefore, we have designed a programme tailored to this group specifically. This is in the context of our wider Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which takes a fully inclusive approach and sets out a balance of activities – including those focussed on other sub-groups of the community – and some that are applicable to all. In developing the Black internship programme, we put together a diverse Health Data Science Black Internship Programme Advisory Group and have discussed this scheme with our Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
We have considered, in depth, the pros and cons of such a targeted approach and concluded that to effectively address the under-representation of this group, a highly targeted scheme such as this is required.