BAME BOSS;

Ethnic Minority Aspirations of Being on the Board

59% of ethnic minority citizens aspire to be on the board
BUT only 2% make it

55% ethnic minority Brits have been advised to be
‘more realistic’ about their career aspirations

Half of the UK’s ethnic minorities have stated that they have
no prominent professional role models of their ethnicity

46% of ethnic minorities advised to commence a career NOT
relevant to their skills or interests

50% of BAME Brits in 2018 are the first in their family to
attend higher education- verses 26% of non-ethnic minorities

Hephzi Pemberton, founder of Equality Group has commissioned nationally representative research that delves into UK ethnic minority citizens, their career aspirations and the inequalities that persist within the world of work.

This research is launched amidst latest industry data that shows only 84 of the 1,048 directors in the FTSE100, originate from an ethnic minority.

Contextualised by the disconcerting fact that there are more directors called Dave or Steve within these 100 companies than there are women or ethnic minorities, this timely research unveils a damning insight and ever-present reality that impacts almost 8 million Brits attempting to succeed in the UKs professional arena. Underpinned by an overwhelming drive to succeed in positions of seniority, the study commissioned by Equality Group- an organisation that helps companies attract, retain and develop diverse talent- unveils majority sentiments of ambition, academic prowess and unwavering perseverance propelling the UK ethnic minority workplace forward. Whether this sentiment is met by an academic and/or professional infrastructure is questioned significantly given that 46% -2.5 million- ethnic minority citizens were encouraged to commence their career in a role that did not reflect their career aspirations or academic credentials at that time.

As cited by the University of Leicester in 2017, students from ethnic minority groups have, academically, significantly improved over the last two decades and are achieving higher grades than the national average. With this in mind, it is important to assess ethnic minority experience upon leaving education in order to understand how such stark differences within the professional career has occurred.

Key statistics

Over 3 million ethnic minority Brits (59%) aspired upon leaving school of
securing a role at senior management, director and/or board level

Half of ethnic minority respondents noted that there are no prominent role
models of their ethnic profile in positions they aspire/ have aspired to
reach professionally

58% -over 3 million- ethnic minority citizens stated that they had friends
and family role models who they considered aspirational in relation to
their career progression

Over half, 55% -almost 3 million-ethnic minority citizens declared that
they were advised to be more realistic in regards of their career goals by
those who influenced their career, compared to only 19% of non-minority
ethnic citizens.

46% -2.5 million- ethnic minority citizens were encouraged to commence
their career in a role that did not reflect their career aspirations or
academic credentials at that time.

Three quarters of minority respondents, 75%- almost 4 million people-noted
that their professional success is down to personal merit, conviction and
perseverance and not the guidance of academic or professional support.

50% of ethnic minority respondents were the first generation within their
family to attend university verses only 26% of non-ethnic respondents.

Lack of ethnic minority representation within
business and the repercussions of this:

Half of ethnic minority respondents noted that they had no professional role
models of their ethnic profile within the UK’s professional landscape. This
is extremely topical yet unsurprising given that the FTSE has just noted a
drop in the number of ethnic minority Directors in the UKs largest 100
companies to only 84 out of 1,048. The underrepresentation of relevant role
models and the subsequent lack of identification that ethnic minority
citizens have with people in positions of authority, largely contributes to
the underrepresentation of ethnic minority citizens on boards.

BAME vs Non-BAME Aspirations,
Assistance, and Work

• I felt I had clear guidance from teachers, professors and career
advisors regarding the choices I should make to get the career I wanted.

BAME

49% agree

 

NON BAME

18% agree

 

• I had aspirations upon leaving school of securing a role at senior
management, director and/or board level.

BAME

49% agree

 

NON BAME

18% agree

 

• I had friends and family role models who guided me, that I considered
aspirational in relation to career my progression.

BAME

58% agree

 

NON BAME

26% agree

 

• There are no prominent role models of my ethnic profile in positions I
aspire/ have aspired to reach professionally.

BAME

55% agree

 

NON BAME

21% agree

 

• I was advised to be more realistic of my career goals by those who
influenced my career progression.

BAME

55% agree

 

NON BAME

21% agree

 

• I was encouraged to commence my career in a role that did not reflect
my career aspirations or academic credentials at that time.

BAME

46% agree

 

NON BAME

19% agree

 

• My professional success is down to personal merit, conviction and
perseverance & not the guidance of academic or professional support.

BAME

75% agree

 

NON BAME

19% agree

 

• My professional success is down to personal merit, conviction and
perseverance & not the guidance of academic or professional support.

BAME

50% agree

 

NON BAME

26% agree

 

Hepzhi Pemberton, CEO and Founder of Equality Group

comments on the report:

“This report makes it clear that ethnic minority students have strong support
structures available to them throughout their educational careers. However,
there seems to be a significant deficit upon entering the world of work. This
research indicates that young ethnic minority students have significant levels
of professional aspiration, supported by an educational infrastructure, that
should, in theory, enable them to excel within their chosen professional
careers. This is however far from the reality when assessing the UK’s BAME
representation at senior management, board and director level. It is a shocking
reality that in 2018, the workplace does not nurture and support BAME talent in
a manner that reflects the undeniable aspirations prominent in this community.
As a society of business leaders, decision-makers, professionals & commentators,
we have an obligation to ensure that intention is met with action to ensure the
UK’s workforce – in its entirety – has access to a democratised career ladder
that promotes inclusion for all at every level.”

About Equality Group

Equality Group harnesses the power of diverse leaders for Finance,Technology and
Social Impact. They change the business landscape by widening the range of
exceptional candidates and offering them unique leadership opportunities. Their
consultancy service helps companies attract, retain and develop diverse talent,
which our Executive Search service headhunts.

Equality Group