TOO FEW ASIANS AND BLACKS IN POWERFUL POSTS, SAYS REPORT
PATHWAYS to high powered jobs in Britain for the black and minority ethnic communities (BME) are almost nonexistent in 2017, new research has found.
Gathering data from 37 private, public and democratic institutions, political campaigning organisation, Operation Black Vote (OBV), in collaboration with The Guardian and Green Park recruitment, found that only 3.4 per cent of the 1,049 top posts were held by BAME individuals in their Colour of Power report.
When ministerial posts, elected mayors and council leaders are removed, BME individuals account for two per cent of senior roles.
Secretaries of state Sajid Javid and Priti Patel are among Asian politicians in the report, while Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes and Reckitt Benckiser’s Rakesh Kapoor are among heads of FTSE 100 companies who are from a BAME background in the survey.
Farah Storr, the editor of Cosmoplitan magazine, and Harpal Kumar of Cancer Research UK are also included in the list.
No one from a BAME background is a supreme court judge, a chief constable, a head of an intelligence agency or a member of the defence council for armed forces, the survey found.
Simon Woolley, director of OBV, said: “Britain cannot compete to its optimum, while people of colour and women are inadvertently locked out, which becomes increasingly important in our post- Brexit world.”
Raj Tulsiani, CEO of Green Park, said: “For many, the absence of diversity in business leadership is a clear signal that institutions and wealth creators don’t understand the need to modernise corporate stewardship.”
He added that such “stark disparities” were responsible for a lack of public trust in leaders in politics and business, and urged a change in order for Britain to remain relevant.
“Globally, there are increasing external pressures to act more boldly to achieve integrated, credible diversity and the UK needs to follow suit if it is to remain competitive in an international economy,” Tulsiani added.
Women of BAME backgrounds are even less likely to be represented in top level positions, with seven in total, amounting to one per cent of the overall figure.
Woolley echoed Tulsiani’s views, saying greater diversity was needed to effectively serve a “growing multifaceted, multicultural society”.
OBV, a non-partisan group that works to further racial justice and equality in Britain, said the bleak statistics could give rise to new opportunities for future generations to flourish in their chosen fields.
Its chair, Rita Patel, said: “Imagine how many more of our children and young adults truly believing they can excel in whatever field they seek to choose.
“We not only turbocharge British creativity and dynamism, we also create a society that is more comfortable with itself, precisely because we diminish alienation, and the ‘them and us’ blame game’”.
Of the sectors in the report, the most diverse was politics, with four leaders of London boroughs, one metropolitan leader, two mayors, three UK ministers, one Scottish and one Welsh minister coming from BAME backgrounds.