As a white woman, the colour of my skin affects my experience of racism. It is, however, a concern that affects everyone. So  I feel as qualified to write about it as anybody else, albeit from a different angle.

The Guardian reports today that the number of unemployed black people in the UK is much higher than in the US. While this isn’t a surprise, it is disappointing that we don’t seem to be moving along with the times as we should. Where is our drive to embrace and reward diversity as a society? Where do we go to provide suitable opportunities for the multiple range of talents, experiences and backgrounds of everyone in multicultural Britain?

This is a burning issue. We must recognise who we are and find more ways to explore the value of our differences. They can enrich our society in more ways than introducing curry as the new national dish or the array of festivals, from Eid to Chinese New Year. We must provide opportunities to raise aspirations in young people, coaching them on how to turn these ambitions into realities.

Do you want to succeed? The colour of your skin should make no difference to your chances to do so. United States, with its rich history of ‘self-made (wo)man’ stories, seems more open to provide opportunities for ambitious individuals to swim against the stream. Whilst I have always felt they could learn a lesson or two about the welfare state in Britain, maybe it’s time for us to consider how to help everyone achieve their full potential.