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What does BAME actually mean?

The Business of Black room number 3 on Clubhouse yesterday did not disappoint. Yet another insightful discussion. I may even go as far as to say that it was the best room we’ve had so far in terms of numbers and content shared.  

The use of the terms ‘BAME’ and ‘POC’ were discussed. As you might expect the room came alive and shared many viewpoints about the label, while some may appreciate its use, others would rather be identified by their specific race and/or ethnic group. 


  • Labels like POC and BAME can sometimes prove useful when discussing diversity and inclusion. A participant spoke about access to private schooling because she fell into the BAME category.  
  • Creating a separate category for non-white people serves to centre whitness as a ‘norm’ and those outside of that are ‘othered’
  • These terms are often used to tick a box and might not actually do much to promote diversity at all. Nothing follows after that tick has been made.
  • ‘I don’t see colour’ may be a problematic phrase but ideally we should be able to acknowledge each other’s differences without it causing a distinct divide
  • Focusing on our backgrounds rather than race/colour could be far more useful.
  • Putting us all together as ‘one’ forces a community that doesn’t exist. 
  • Racism within Race is also a thing.


We are stripped of our true identity when clumped together with the use of the word BAME and it is not helpful.  It is however a quick fix way to present an illusion of diversity, inclusion and equality within the working environment or other.

That said at this point in time there were no other words that could sum us up nicely. Personally I question if we actually need a word?  What word is used for white Irish, Welsh and Scottish people as a clump?

Thoughts and comments below welcome.  Please help us to shift from our current position  by joining in the conversation next Tuesday on Clubhouse at 5:30pm.