A lack of diversity among the UK’s most powerful people
There are lots of powerful people in the UK. Some are politicians or newspaper editors, while others are CEOs. CEO stands for chief executive officer – the highest position in a company. However, out of 1,049 of the most powerful people in Britain, only 36 – or just over 3% – come from a BAME background, according to a study. BAME stands for black, Asian and minority ethnic. An ethnic minority is a group of people of a particular race, which has different national or cultural traditions from the general population. As of 2011, official records show that 12.9% of the UK’s population is non-white. Just seven of the 1,049 are BAME women.
The study found that out of the top 100 CEOs in the UK, only two of them came from a BAME background. Neither of them were women. The study also found that of the 23 Cabinet ministers – who form the Government and make important decisions about the country – only two of them were BAME.
The worst sectors for hiring non-white people to powerful positions were the police, the Armed Forces and publishing. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, one of the 36 BAME individuals included in the study, said: “It’s so important to promote the successful figures from Britain’s BAME communities. We need to create a sense of optimism, aspiration and hope.” Sadiq Khan became London’s first ethnic minority mayor when he was elected in May 2016. He is also the first Muslim to become mayor of a major capital city in Europe or North America.
In light of the study, Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission – part of the Government – said: “There is absolutely no reason why BAME people should not be able to reach the top of their chosen profession.”