Inequality | Less than 2% of senior roles held by Black staff

Less than 2% of senior roles held by Black staff

In recent weeks the global Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement – thrown into the spotlight by the death of US citizen George Floyd – has sparked a rethink in the attitudes and processes of many big businesses.

The likes of Ben & Jerry's, H&M, Etsy and Nike, along with countless others, have not only donated to causes within the movement but actively reassessed their own internal processes to ensure that Black employees are assured equal opportunities.

However, whilst the BLM movement has sparked major conversations around racial inequality across the world, the latest study by Business in The Community discovered that currently under two per cent of top management roles within the UK are held by Black members of staff – Yahoo! Finance reported.

In fact, just 1.5% of senior leadership roles are filled by Black employees, which represents an increase of just 0.1% since 2014 – evidencing that ensuring racial equality in the workplace hasn’t been a priority for many companies.

The research also unearthed low representation in public leadership roles. For example, just one per cent of people in roles such as journalists, senior civil servants, judges, academics and the police force are Black. This figure has remained the same since 2014.

In addition, the data found that the vast majority – 62% – of charity Boards are all-white.

Why is representation so poor?

Sandra Kerr CBE, Race Director at Business in the Community, told Yahoo! Finance: “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,” Kerr added.

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