We’re incredibly proud to support South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) 2022. SAHM first took place in 2020 and it seeks to commemorate, mark and celebrate South Asian cultures, histories and communities.
By Ben Spencer-White, Diversity and Inclusion Manager
There are 11,500 Post Offices located in all parts of the United Kingdom. As an organisation, we’re acutely aware of how important it is that we do our best to reflect the diverse range of customers we serve every single day.
We don’t collect data on the ethnicity make-up of our Postmasters. The main reason for this is that there are a number of different ways of becoming a Postmaster. You can be an independent Postmaster who runs your own Post Office. But we also have Post Offices operated by our Strategic Partners, for example WH Smith, Tesco, Co-op and Spar. They employ staff to run Post Offices. Some Post Offices are also run by registered companies or as partnerships trading as a business.
Last year however, in our annual survey of independent Postmasters, we did ask Postmasters to voluntarily declare their ethnicity. There are over 7,000 independent Postmasters and around 1,300 completed the survey. Almost one in three (29%) described their ethnic group as Indian, 6% described it as Pakistani, 1% Bangladeshi, 8% any other Asian background and 1% a mixed White and Asian background. Whilst these stats cannot be deemed statistically representative of the whole independent Postmaster population, it nevertheless gives an insight into why it’s so important that Post Office celebrates and champions South Asian Heritage Month.
Saf Ismail, one of our Non-Executive Directors, and who is also a Postmaster, has shared what South Asian Heritage Month means to him:
We want to wish everyone celebrating South Asian Heritage Month a wonderful time and hope it’s an opportunity for different cultures to learn a little bit more about each other’s. Here at Post Office we’ll be hosting a lunch and learn session for colleagues in August led by our Post Office Ethnic Minorities (POEM) Chair and our Group Chief Retail Officer.