Businesses ‘failing to promote black people’

A new survey shows little progress has been made when it comes to promoting black employees into senior management positions.

Business Woman


Just 1.5% of managers, directors and senior officials in the UK are black, according to a new study which shows little change in diversity at the top of organisations in the last six years.

Updated figures from Business in the Community’s 2014 report Race at the Top, published for the 72nd anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush from the Caribbean, show that despite black people making up more than 3% of the population in England and Wales, only 1.5% of top management roles across private sector organisations are held by black employees, an increase of 0.1% per cent since 2014. Public sector leadership remains static at 1% and 62% of charity boards are all-white.

Just 1% of journalists, senior civil servants, judges, academics and the police force are black.

BITC says one area where representation has improved is in politics where there are currently 65 MPs in the UK who are black, Asian or minority ethnicities (BAME), rising from 27 in 2010. However, it notes that there are no black Cabinet ministers.

Sandra Kerr CBE, race director at Business in the Community, said: “Twenty-five 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.”

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