LONDON: According to an analysis, the overwhelming majority – 97 per cent – of powerful people in the UK are white. Just 36 people out of the 1,049 most powerful figures in Britain are from black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, according to the research. But nearly 13 per cent of people in the UK are from a BAME background, meaning that if there were proportional representation in society, there would be around 136 people on the list.
The findings led to concerns over routes into the top jobs for BAME people, a lack of role models for young people and the effectiveness of equalities legislation. This is a modal window. An unanticipated problem was encountered, check back soon and try again Labour’s Dawn Butler in tribute to Jo Cox as she urges end to discrimination.
The data was compiled by Operation Black Vote (OBV) for their Colour of Power campaign and published in the Guardian. “Pathways to power are almost non-existent if you’re black or Asian,” Simon Woolley, director of Operation Black Vote told the newspaper. “The white club virtually locks out black talent,” he added. “The lack of diversity at the top level is deeply troubling, not least because in most sectors there has been little or no progress at all.”
The research examined the leaders of 39 sectors across society, encompassing the judiciary, business, politics, health, education, civil society, media and sport.
There were no BAME people at all among trade union leaders, chief constables and local government CEOs featured, which OBV said was “lamentable”.
While at least 30 per cent of premiership footballers are BAME, there is just one black football manager in the league – Chris Hughton, manager of Hove and Albion FC.
Political representation was the best area for BAME representation, with Cabinet Ministers Priti Patel and Sajid Javid listed as month the 36 most powerful BAME people, along with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Another minister, Sam Gyimah, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, is also black. In addition, Scotland and Wales both have BAME ministers, Humza Yousaf, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands and Vaughan Gething, Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport.
And the highest ever proportion of MPs – eight per cent – are from BAME backgrounds, though this could change at the next election.
Mr Woolley called for change and told the BBC: “Opening up pathways benefits everyone. Potential talent on every street needs to be unleashed.”