The proportion of Black, Asian and minority ethnics (BAME) in the top 1,097 most powerful roles in the UK has seen very little improvement and barely increased since 2017.
According to the Colour of Power survey by consultants Green Park, currently, 51 out of the top 1,097 UK positions are held by BAME individuals, this number has increased by 15 since 2017. There are still no BAME chief constables and one BAME police crime commissioner. Out of the top 50 NHS trusts, there are no BAME CEOs as well as no BAME secretaries in the civil service. As well as one BAME trade union boss.
If this speed of BAME representation continues, then the UK will only reach 13 per cent of non-whites in top leadership positions by 2044. Even though by this time, one-fifth of the country’s population will be from an ethnic minority.
The groups with the highest BAME representation is the education and charity sectors, with 10 per cent of leaders coming from an ethnic background. Despite being only four BAME ministers in Boris Johnson’s cabinet, which consists of 26 people, politics is the second most diverse sector with 21 out of 310 MPs being BAME.
Throughout most sectors of businesses, there is a huge underrepresentation of BAME people, with only two FTSE 100 chief executives coming from an ethnic minority.
Raj Tulsiani, CEO of Green Park said:
If ever there was a need for open and carefully curated conversations about the UK’s relationship with race and power, the time is now. Our report graphically illustrates the lack of ethnic minority representation in the upper echelons of the UK’s most powerful institutions which directly or indirectly impact the everyday lives of our multi-cultural population.
The Colour of Power 2020 demonstrates not only the disparity of power in the UK’s highest echelons, but also the total failure to address it despite three years of government-backed targets and ample institutional rhetoric about commitments to diversity and inclusion.
Those in entrenched positions of power clearly need access to new perspectives. We need to let go of the myth of an achieved meritocracy and reform our working practices so that they are inclusive from start to finish. And we need to remember that inviting people into decision-making processes is an antidote to a lack of will to change but does not in itself provide the additional skills needed to address groupthink – which will be vital to helping the economy recover and thrive post Covid-19.