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Under 2% of top management roles held by Black employees

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
An African-American woman entrepreneur a digital tablet is leaning against a panoramic window of an office business skyscraper and looking in a distance; biracial businesswoman with a tablet pc
Just 1.5% of senior leadership roles and filled by Black employees, according to new figures. (Getty)

Under 2% of top management roles in the UK are held by Black members of staff, according to new figures.

Just 1.5% of senior leadership roles and filled by Black employees, an increase of just 0.1% since 2014 the updated figures from Business in the Community’s 2014 report Race at the Top found.

There is also extremely low representation in public leadership roles as just 1% of journalists, senior civil servants, judges, academics and the police force are black, the figure remaining static since 2014.

The report also found that 62% of charity boards are all-White.

There has been “little success” in addressing the lack of diverse representation in senior leadership roles over the past decade, the report said.

There has been some improvement in diversity in politics, according to the report, as the number of Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) MPs has risen to 65, from 27 in 2010. However, there are no Black Cabinet ministers.

READ MORE: 'Bias in recruitment is not just about out-and-out racism or misogyny'

Sandra Kerr CBE, race director at Business in the Community, said: “25 years on from the Business in the Community’s Race Equality campaign being launched, it is clear that Black people continue to be under-represented at a senior level.

“This lack of diverse leadership has a direct impact on decision-making. This is more crucial than ever when the evidence shows that BAME people continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“Black livelihoods matter and employers need to take urgent action to ensure that their organisation is inclusive and a place where people of any ethnic background can thrive and succeed.”

The figures come as the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May has sparked protests around the world, bringing renewed focus to the wider inequalities facing BAME people across the globe.

Elevating, celebrating, and amplifying the visibility and voices of people of colour from across the globe is more important than ever.

The 2020 EMpower ethnic minority executives ranking celebrates senior people of colour who are leading by example and removing barriers on the pathway to success for ethnic minority employees around the world.

READ MORE: Black and ethnic minority workers hit hardest by coronavirus job losses

The list is topped by Mauro Gregorio who leads one of the most diversified business units at science company Dow (DOW) and is active in education programmes for students of colour and diverse ethnic backgrounds, ranging from engaging with African American universities to providing scholarship and fundraising for community colleges.

At number two on the list is Kanya King, founder of the MOBO awards, followed by Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte Global and the first Indian-born CEO to lead a “Big Four” accounting firm.