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Parker Review Update, Ethnic Diversity: Enriching Business Leadership, March 2022 (link)


Further update on independent review considers how to improve the ethnic and cultural diversity of UK boards 


In the FTSE 100, by December 2021 89 companies had achieved the target of appointing at least one director from a minority ethnic group to the Board by 2021.  An additional five companies had announced the appointment of new directors from minority ethnic groups in early 2022 and a further three companies had reported that they were actively engaged in recruitment. The number of companies with minority ethnic directors has doubled since 2016 and it is evenly spread between genders. 


164 of the 1,056 director positions (i.e. 16%) across the FTSE 100 are held by people from minority ethnic groups. 


In the FTSE 250, 55% of companies had already achieved the target of appointing at least one director from a minority ethnic group to the Board by 2024, and 178 of the 1,849 director positions (i.e. almost 10%) are held by people from minority ethnic groups. 


However, the great majority of these Board positions are as Non-Executive Directors. Only six CEOs and 12 other executive directors across the FTSE 100 come from a minority ethnic group. There are even fewer Chairs from a minority ethnic group background, with just three in the FTSE 100.  By contrast, there are 13 CEOs and five Chairs from minority ethnic groups in the FTSE 250. 


Furthermore, “there seem to be a higher proportion of members of a number of Asian communities on Boards than is the case with a number of Black communities”. 


Although the Parker Review was set up to focus on the lack of ethnic diversity in the Boardroom, this needs to be complemented by programmes at all levels in the company to support the development of those from diverse backgrounds through talent management and succession planning processes, with the objective of creating sustainable pipelines of ethnically diverse talent. 


As research by Cranfield University and the FRC stated: 


“The shift towards greater embedding of inclusive practices needs to continue with an increasing emphasis on race education, dialogue on race and race fluency. Participants from minority ethnic groups have shared their experiences of hyper surveillance (excessive scrutiny of their performance in comparison to others) and hypervisibility (being known for their ethnic background). There are strong indications that organisations are recognising that change needs to come from those who are in the majority, rather than those from diverse backgrounds, and only then will the culture change happen.” 


“The worldwide attention now being paid to racial equality has raised the bar for the corporate world. There is a demand for change and an expectation that change should be more than cosmetic. There is also an expectation that change should be shown to be taking place.” 


Bar Standards Board, Income by Gender and Ethnicity, February 2022 (link) 


The analysis of income data held by the BSB shows that female barristers and barristers from minority ethnic backgrounds are likely to earn less that White and male barristers respectively. This holds true when looking at employed barristers, self-employed barristers, QCs, barristers based both inside and outside London, and barristers with similar seniority by year of Call. 


Female barristers from minority ethnic backgrounds are the lowest earning group, whereas White male barristers are the highest earning group. There are also differences in the income of barristers from minority ethnic backgrounds once ethnicity is looked at in more detail, with Black and Black British barristers earning less than Asian and Asian British barristers overall. 


When barristers are grouped by their main area of practice and seniority by year of Call, female barristers and barristers from minority ethnic backgrounds earn less on average than equivalent male and White barristers. This suggests that differences in income by gender and ethnicity cannot be explained solely by practising area or experience. 


For every area of practice, and for each of the two year-of-Call bands, female barristers have a lower mean and median income band than male barristers, and minority ethnic barristers have a lower mean and median income band than white barristers. 



Green Park Business Leaders Index 2021 (link)  


A review of the gender and ethno-cultural diversity composition of UK’s most senior leadership 


“One of the most significant findings from our 2020 survey was that for the first time since we began our analysis in 2014, at the UK’s largest companies there are no Black Chairs, CEOs or CFOs.” 


“Executive Director roles are lagging behind and have failed to increase Black executive leadership, which remains at 0.6%, unchanged over eight years.” 


“… we find that ethnic minority and female leaders are being sidelined in Non-Executive Director roles or functions that hold less influence and are less likely to lead to a C-Suite promotion.” 


“… where change is happening, it is often within the corporate sidelines – roles and functions which are far less likely routes into the top tier of leadership than those travelled by their white, male counterparts.” 


Top 20 Executives and Non-Executives (Board and Executive Committee) 


While representation across all ethnic minority groups in the Top 20 marginally increased, Black leaders remain the least represented overall (1.6%), only a 0.3% rise since 2014.  Amongst executive directors (as opposed to NEDs), the Black ethno-cultural group has made the smallest gain at 0.1% and remains the least represented group at 0.6%. 





Top 40 Executives (Senior leaders who report to the Board and Executive Committee) 


The ‘Top 40’ “represents the internal pipeline of tomorrow’s senior executive and non-executive leaders.”  Ethnic minority representation in the Top 40 has fallen backwards to 9.3% in 2021, compared with 10.7% in 2019. This is now lower than in 2018 (10.6%) and 2016-2017 (10.7%).   


Except for the Chinese and other Asian ethno-cultural group, which remains unchanged since 2019, all other ethno-cultural groups saw a decrease in representation throughout 2021.   


“At this level, our analysis of job functions also shows clearly how female and ethnic minority leaders are more likely to be sidelined into Human Resources and Marketing & Communications job functions; roles which are traditionally, less likely to lead to the top executive leadership spots than the white male dominated sectors of Digital, Data & Technology, Commercial & Procurement, Governance & Operations and Finance.” 


New Financial Report: Accelerating Black Inclusion, April 2021 (link) 


A qualitative analysis focusing on the progression of Black professionals into leadership positions across the UK financial services industry. 


Just over half of the sample of more than 50 financial services firms made some kind of public statement within the two months following the death of George Floyd, but only a quarter committed to action, largely led from the US, indicating the unease of the UK corporate conversation on race. 


Black employees, particularly the few Black leaders, were called on to lead the corporate response, effectively taking on a second job. While they were willing to contribute, and benefitted from raising both their own profile and that of the Black inclusion agenda with senior leadership, the work was exhausting and the exposure was not without risk. 


Two-thirds of interviewees said they had experienced racism at work and for most, the incidents were subtle rather than egregious. 


Where racism and discrimination were acknowledged, interviewees rarely raised it at the time or reported it afterwards. Most did not feel their complaints would be taken seriously, and they tended to deflect with humour or ignore it. Many felt it was difficult to evidence such incidents, and that occurrences are largely written off as being personal between the individuals involved. When they did raise incidents with colleagues, there was a general assumption that the Black person misunderstood what was said or misread the situation. While each separate event may appear minor and can be shrugged off, a sense of injustice, racial trauma and exhaustion accumulates over time. 


A further layer of racism comes from unconscious or implicit biases, which effect what is and, crucially, what is not expected from Black colleagues, e.g. being perceived as a risk and as not marked out for success.  “A manager might be happy to allocate a smaller task, but the higher profile complex work and promotions go to members of the in-group. This manifests in career stagnation, and Black employees languishing in support and administrative functions with little opportunity to move across into core front office roles.” 


The main thematic barriers to progression include striving to fit in; the consequences of the lack of representation of Black people and the related ‘tall poppy syndrome’, where Black professionals who reach senior positions face the risk of exposure and have to accept that everything they do is examined under a microscope; accusations of tokenism; and lack of affinity bias and familiarity with the unwritten rules to get ahead. The way these barriers overlap and compound each other make them uniquely challenging to Black employees in financial services. 

The ‘Middle’ Report, 2nd Edition, Black British Business Awards (link) 


A report on how to address racism and advance ethnic minority professionals at work


“We asked HR Directors and D&I Practitioners how often their company board and executive committee receive management information about the progression of BAME talent in their organisations. Only 4.3% of HR and D&I respondents answered ‘always’, and 23.9% responded ‘often’.  It is striking that 42% of HR Directors and 27% of D&I Practitioners did not answer this question concerning management information, suggesting that they may not know or may be unwilling to disclose the extent to which they share information with their senior leadership. This also raises the question of whether senior leaders either do not notice that they are not receiving information about the progression of BAME talent, or do not insist upon better reporting.”

Report on the Race Fairness Commitment, November 2021 (link) 


A report on data collected from 35 UK law firms which are signatories to the Race Fairness Commitment 


Black and ethnic minority trainees account for 32% of the trainee population. However, “[a]ttrition for junior Black lawyers is significantly higher than for other ethnic minority and White lawyers. There are clear spikes in the attrition of Black lawyers at qualification, 1 PQE and 3 PQE. By 7PQE there are very few Black lawyers left, even when we accounted for there being fewer Black lawyers who joined the profession as trainees 9 years ago.” 


According to the Financial Times (21 Nov 2021), the report showed that: 


“Across the 35 firms surveyed, there were fewer than 10 black fifth, sixth, seventh and eight-year associates. There were 543 white fifth-year associates, and 120 other ethnic minority associates in that cohort.” 

Bar Council of England and Wales: Race At the Bar – A Snapshot Report, Nov 2021 (link) 


“Data in the report categorically and definitively evidences, in quantitative and qualitative terms, that barristers from all ethnic minority backgrounds, and especially Black and Asian women, face systemic obstacles to building and progressing a sustainable and rewarding career at the Bar… [and] particular inequalities are faced by Black barristers and students” 


“Black and Asian women at the Bar are 4 times more likely to experience bullying and harassment at work than White men.” 


“Even when factoring in practice area, work volume, region and seniority, women earn on average less than men; Black men earn less than White men; and Black and Asian women earn less than Black and Asian men, and Black women earn the least. The income differentials vary between practice area but are significant.” 


“Black and Asian barristers are under-represented in taking Silk (becoming Queen’s Counsel). There are just 5 Black/Black British female QCs and 17 male Black/Black British QCs in England and Wales. There are 16 male and 9 female Silks of Mixed ethnicity. There are 17 Asian/Asian British female QCs and 60 male Asian/Asian British QCs. This compares 1,303 White men and 286 White women.” 


“It is clear … that candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to obtain pupillage than candidates from White backgrounds, even when controlling for educational attainment [university ranking, BPTC grade and degree class].” 


“Data taken from the Bar Council’s CRM database indicates that, at all band levels, White male barristers earn the highest fee income.  This is especially stark from the higher income bands - Band 5 to Band 8. Asian/Asian British males earn the most after White males and female barristers. Further breakdown can be seen in the table as follows which shows the percentage of the self-declared income in each band and how the income band is distributed according to ethnicity and sex. Each band is measured out of 100%.” 


Breakdown of the 2021 self-declared income in each band by ethnicity and sex (%) as of 1 June 2021  



In the six main practice areas (Crime, Family – Children, Family – Other, Commercial & Financial Services, Employment and Personal Injury), some have no QC representation from barristers of different ethnicities.  The table below highlights the gaps in representation. 


Number of non-QCs and QCs in the 5 main practice areas based on ethnicity and sex for 2021 as of 1 June 2021 

table 2.PNG

Reboot. Report, Race to Equality: UK Financial Services, October 2021 (link)


A survey of mid-to-senior level white and ethnic minority employees in the financial services sector 


Employees in the financial services sector earn 29% more than the rest of the UK on average, excluding bonuses.  However, around half (48%) of ethnic minority employees believe their career progression is lower than that of their white peers, compared with 12% of white employees who believe that theirs is lower than ethnic minority colleagues. Conversely, more than half (55%) of white employees believe their career progression is “about the same” as their ethnic minority peers, while 24% and 9% say it is higher or significantly higher, respectively."


The data to paint a complete picture of the makeup of the UK’s financial services sector does not currently exist. Accurate data on representation within the industry provides much-needed context on a range of issues, including the ethnic pay gap, and allows for a more focused view of the experiences of specific ethnic groups. The experiences of ethnic minorities are not uniform and data should be reflective of that. 


The findings of the survey confirm that traditional concepts of ethnic minorities facing a ‘concrete ceiling’ have been replaced with the notion of the ‘labyrinth’, i.e. “the continuous difficulties, complete with dead-ends and complexities, faced by minority groups in achieving the end goal of a senior leadership role”. 


Ethnic minorities are more represented at entry-level roles for most financial services organisations, but struggle to navigate to senior leadership roles. 


White peers identify organisational culture as the most common barrier to progression for their ethnic minority peers, showing recognition for the constraints existing corporate structures place on their colleagues. 


Regarding factors that help employees with career progression, a greater diversity of people at senior levels was identified as a key factor by both white and minority ethnicity people. 


Of those surveyed, eight out of 10 white peers think it is important for their organisation to have a more diverse workforce. White respondents identified a range of benefits behind a more diverse workforce, including a greater variety of perspectives and access to more talent. Additionally, one in four recognise the reputational boost a company may experience by embracing D&I. 



“Seven in ten financial services organisations have policies on D&I yet only one-third (36%) of financial services employees believe their companies are “fully committed” to enhancing D&I, suggesting that while efforts have been made to address the issue by the boardroom, there needs to be a more open dialogue with ethnic minority employees in terms of what they want, as such, long-term positive results are yet to materialise across the sector.” 


Tech Nation: Ethnic Diversity in UK Fintech, October 2021 (link)


Report by UK Government-sponsored tech network into the role and participation of ethnic minorities in UK fintech 


Ethnic diversity in fintech has increased from 12% in 2011 to 20% in 2021. However, the proportion of Black people working in fintech has remained static, at 3.1%, while the proportion of Asian people, and people from other underrepresented groups has increased. 


The earlier the stage a fintech company, the more diverse its workforce. Seed stage companies have approximately 15% representation in the workforce of Black, Asian and other underrepresented groups, whilst exited companies have 9%. The proportion of Black, Asian and other underrepresented groups declines with each stage of company growth. 


Of the early careers population, 77% were White, 12% Asian and 3% Black. The population with 5 to 10 years of experience rose to 81% White, 10% Asian and 3% Black.  With 10 to 15 years of experience, combined ethnic minority representation fell to 11%, and with more than 15 years of experience, it fell further to 8%.  “This implies the proportion of underrepresented groups drops from early careers to senior executives and C-suite populations.” 


Black, Asian and other underrepresented groups are marginally more likely to have a degree than White people working in fintech. 


Black fintech employees are most highly represented as a proportion of all employees within a function in HR (4%) and Asian employees are most highly represented in IT & tech (12%) and finance (12%) as a proportion of all employees in those functions. 

Bank of England Review of Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion, July 2021 (link)


While the Bank has also attracted an ethnically diverse pool of experienced-hire applicants, there is a ‘leaky pipeline’ in recruitment: the share of minority ethnic candidates fell substantially between application and appointment. 


“After joining the Bank, White colleagues have tended to receive higher performance ratings. They have also typically been afforded greater opportunities for career development and progression than minority ethnic colleagues. Promotion rates for White colleagues, particularly those in more junior roles, were also generally higher than for minority ethnic colleagues. The level of pay and pay rises were equivalent for White and minority ethnic colleagues at the same pay grade. However, bonuses (measured as a percentage of base pay) were on average lower for minority ethnic colleagues than White colleagues. Most, but not all, of this bonus gap could be accounted for by lower performance ratings.” 


The inequitable allocation of opportunities tends to negatively impact other employee life-cycle outcomes, such as promotion rates and the likelihood of leaving the Bank. There is evidence for a dynamic at the Bank similar to the one in the Figure below. 


“These findings for performance ratings, pay, promotion rates and resignations were common across all minority ethnic groups. There were however some pockets of differences for Black colleagues. Across both the Graduate Scheme and experienced hires routes, the Bank attracts relatively fewer candidates coming from Black or Black heritage backgrounds relative to their representation in the population compared to, for example, minority Asian applicants. Black colleagues were also more underrepresented relative to other minority ethnic groups among those receiving a subset of the high-profile or career-advancing opportunities in the Bank.”  

figure 1.PNG



Parker Review Update, Ethnic Diversity: Enriching Business Leadership (link)


Update on independent review considers how to improve the ethnic and cultural diversity of UK boards


“Ethnic diversity needs to be given the same level of board room focus that finally led to increasing female representation on boards, which has seen real progress in recent years.”

Directors of colour comprise 

7.5% of all FTSE 350 directors

5.3% of all FTSE 250 directors

11.3% of all FTSE 100 directors

where the ethnicity of the individuals is known.




Just 8 companies account for nearly 25% of the directors of colour across the FTSE 350.


More initiatives aimed at increasing ethnic representation through the pipeline are being reported, but these are often unlikely to increase ethnic diversity in senior management in the short run. The number of stated initiatives is still very low, and mostly focus on general progression rather than specifically increasing ethnic diversity in senior management.


The evidence that diverse teams, when managed and led well, outperform homogenous teams, is robust. Responsibility for managing performance associated with greater gender and ethnic diversity should rest, not with a ‘diversity’ director, but with the leadership team, and ultimately the Chair.


“[We] suggest that there may be longstanding talent bias, and … little interest in or appreciation of the benefits that ethnic diversity can bring into the Boardroom. The second is to recognise that race and ethnicity are the most difficult things to talk about in the United Kingdom, for good and bad reasons – they are just too hard and too sensitive.”


“Unless corporate Britain is willing to confront [the talent bias] issue, well-trained, qualified people will continue to be overlooked by a system that has not been designed or trained to look for them, develop their commercial acumen or understand the diversity of experience and thought they bring – let alone appreciate it and see it as valuable.”


“It is clear to us that Board Chairs need to drive this change, and push past the institutional inertia that can exist where there is a pre-existing talent bias. Board Chairs need to start by changing conversations, changing practices, changing expectations, changing minds and ultimately changing organisations. The Parker Review asks them to be the agents of change and encourages them unreservedly.”


“The question for corporate Britain is not about whether the non-white talent is there or ready, the question is whether it is willing to appreciate it, attribute commercial and competitive value to it and change the historical constructs operating currently in the Boardroom and more broadly in our corporate institutions.”


Race At Work Black Voices Report (link)


In the top management roles across private sector organisations, just 1.5% are held by Black leaders – an increase of only 0.1% since 2014.


66% of the Black respondents had degrees, masters or PhDs. For the black African ethnic group alone, this stood at 91%.  This contrasts with 87% for the Chinese ethnic group, 80% and 79% for the Indian and Pakistani ethnic groups respectively, and 52% for the white ethnic group. 


33% of black employees feel that their ethnicity will be a barrier to their next career move; in stark contrast, only 1% of white employees feel the same.


Senior leaders must actively sponsor Black talent in their workplaces

Bar Standards Board, Income by Gender and Ethnicity (link)


Incomes at the Bar vary very widely and the analysis of data on income band shows that female barristers and BAME barristers are likely to earn less than male and White barristers respectively.


Income differences are particularly stark when looking at gender and ethnicity together, with female BAME barristers the lowest earning group, and White male barristers are the highest earning group


Even for barristers working in the same area of law and with the similar seniority by year of Call, BAME barristers and female barristers earn less than equivalent White and male barristers, with notable differences in mean income band observed for all of the groups.


There are also differences in the income of BAME barristers once ethnicity is looked at in more detail, with Black and Black British barristers earning less than Asian and Asian British barristers overall. Black African and Asian Bangladeshi are particularly low earning groups, with both of these groups having a median income band of two, a full two income bands below the median value of four for White barristers

HLB International, Unconscious Bias Awareness Study, September 2020 (link) 


Study of whether unconscious bias is responsible for the lack of representation of certain groups of people in leadership positions within the professional services industry


There are only 17 black partners among the top 8 accountancy firms in the UK, which is just 0.4% out of 4,266 partners within these firms.​


“The lack of diversity at the top comes as a direct result of practices and unconscious bias existing on grassroots levels. With a compromised career progression curve, fewer female and non-white candidates manage to make their way to leadership positions, with many giving up on professional growth or the industry as a whole.”

The career progression curve for non-white candidates of both genders differs significantly to that of white professionals. Despite the increased number of graduates coming from different backgrounds, CPA [certified public accountants] firms are still slow to embrace diverse hiring practices.


According to the AICPA 2019 Accounting Graduate Report, in 2018 70% of new accounting grad hires in the USA were white, 14% were Asian, 10% were Hispanic/Latino and 4% were Black/African-American.  However, at partner level, the figure rises to 90% for white candidates and diminishes to 10% for the five other ethnicities cumulatively.


“The lack of graduate supply isn’t to blame, though, as the total number of non-white BA/MA accounting graduates increased to 46% last year versus 58% of white graduates. So if the proportion of non-white graduates has increased, why is this not reflected in the proportion of hires?”


“While the supply of candidates from diverse backgrounds to the industry has steadily increased since the start of the 21st century, the demographic split within CPA firms is still strongly focused on white males, as both our internal and external research suggests.”


“Our own findings suggest that even in richly diverse areas such as Manchester in the UK, there’s no lack of diversity at the entry-level. However, few non-white CPAs progress up the ranks. The current graduate intake of diverse (predominantly Indian, Chinese, and Asian) candidates is at 50%, but less than 10% end up progressing above the mid-level positions.”


“When you’re in the people business and the client service business, it can sometimes be challenging for CPAs with diverse backgrounds, as the people we are serving may not always be as open-minded to diversity as you are. Conversely, diverse teams of clients expect to see themselves in the teams they select to work with.  This raises a serious question for our profession: are white males in leadership positions simply because clients expect to see this? Does this reinforce their world view and their approach to the firms they work with? This trend is seen not just across the professional services industry, but all industries. However, does that mean we should oblige and reinforce their world views, or should we seek to challenge this?”


“Increasing gender and ethnical representation at top levels is integral for the long-term success of any company. In the accounting industry, both independent research and our findings suggest that high levels of diversity generate financial and non-financial dividends.”

Financial News Analysis of London Investment Banks, July 2020 (link) 


Analysis of 11 leading investment banks and leading boutiques assessing data on leaders of European arms, heads of M&A, equity and debt capital markets, leveraged finance and financial sponsors, as well as Managing Directors leading coverage of specific industries from London.


The data showed that, out of the 650 leading investment bankers in these categories in London, only 3 were Black.


The number of senior Black dealmakers, who make up less than 0.5% of those heading up investment banking teams in London, contrasts with a 13% proportion that make up the BAME category, once Asian and other minority ethnic groups are included.


When Financial News asked top investment banks and fund managers to provide details on the proportion of Black employees in their ranks, the majority declined to disclose the numbers.


According to one mid-ranking Black banker, “There’s a huge glass ceiling.  There’s a sea of brown faces at analyst, associate and VP and director level, but they seem to disappear among the managing director group.”

Senior Investment Bankers

in London July 2020


Directors of Colour: 7.5% 

Directors of Colour: 5.3 

Directors of Colour: 11.3 

White Directors: 92.5 

White Directors 94.7%

White Directors 88.7%

bar-graph (1).png

FTSE 350 Companies

FTSE 250 Companies

FTSE 100 Companies

White executives (87%)

All BAME executives 13%

Black executives (0.5%)


77.5% are White

5.5% are Asian

0.8% are other ethnic minority

0.4% are Black

16% unknown Ethnicity

Partner Distribution

Source: HLB International



Green Park Leadership 10,000 Survey and Report (link)


A review of the gender and ethno-cultural diversity of FTSE 100 leadership


“Turning to the prospects for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) leaders in our top companies, … [s]ince 2014, there has been some progress, albeit from a very low base, but with worrying signs in our latest research of plateauing out and even reversal in certain sectors and among some ethnic groups.”


The pipeline of female and BAME talent in FTSE 100 companies showed little change on 2018, with women making up 28.9% (23.8% in 2014) of this group and BAME employees 10.7% (6.2% in 2014).  The least represented group are Black staff at 1.4% (up from 0.3% in 2014).


Black representation at Top 20 level (i.e. Board and Executive Committee) is down across almost every sector when compared to 2018. This is most marked in banking and finance, where Black leaders made up 5.8% of the Top 20 in 2018, but by the time of the 2019 survey this had fallen to just 0.5%.


The Top 100 roles in a firm are senior leaders who report to the Board and Executive Committee and represent the pipeline of tomorrow’s senior executives.  In line with findings elsewhere in the report, most sectors had seen reverses in Black representation in Top 100 roles since 2018. For 2019, Black representation in the Top 100 in banking and finance stood at a mere 1.6%, and in professional and support services it stood at 1%.


McKinsey & Company, Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters (May 2020), (link)


Study investigating the business case for gender and ethnic inclusion and diversity


The business case for ethnic and cultural diversity on boards remained significant in 2019 with a likelihood of a 36% better financial performance than the national industry median (35% in 2014 and 33% in 2017)



McKinsey/LeanIn Report, Women in the Workplace (link)


The largest comprehensive study of women in corporate America


Based on five years of data from 590 US companies employing more than 22 million people, the corporate pipeline flows as follows:










                Source: McKinsey/LeanIn Report, Women in the Workplace (2019)


The Investment Association, Black Voices Report (link)


Report on building Black representation in investment management


"Less than 1% of investment managers are Black – even though people from this ethnic background make up 3% of the UK population and more than 13% of London, the city housing the lion’s share of the UK investment management industry."


"Without clear data it’s difficult to assess where we are today and what needs to happen next. However, the lack of quantitative data should not be used as a reason not to take forward initiatives to improve black representation in investment management businesses."



Black employees 1.4%

Other Bame Employees 9.3%

White Employees 89.3%



Priest et al., Stereotyping across intersections of race and age: Racial stereotyping among White adults working with children. (link)


A study examining the prevalence of racial/ethnic stereotypes among White adults across USA who work or volunteer with children

A high proportion of White adults who work and/or volunteer with children hold negative stereotypes towards non-White racial/ethnic groups. 

Findings showed that respondents were most likely to endorse negative stereotypes towards Black adults and teens (as violence prone, unintelligent, lazy), and least likely towards Asians (more intelligent and hardworking, and less violence-prone, than White people).

Moreover, stereotypes persist towards young children and teenagers of minority groups, not only towards adults.

The findings are broadly consistent with nationally representative population data that show Black and other minority adults are negatively stereotyped in the U.S. and there has been minimal change in documented levels of stereotyping since 1990.

“This study found high levels of observed stereotypes towards Blacks, American Indian/Alaska Natives and Hispanics with adults from these groups all perceived as being lazy, violence prone, unintelligent, and with unhealthy habits more than Whites by substantial proportions of White adults who work and/or volunteer with children. Conversely, each of these stereotypes was observed at lower levels for Asian adults than for Whites, suggesting persistence of ‘model minority’ images...”



The McGregor-Smith Review (link)


Report on issues faced by businesses in developing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) talent in the workplace

“It is critical that support for building an inclusive business comes from the top – this agenda needs broad executive support, which needs to filter down through organisations.”


“Too many people are uncomfortable talking about race. This has to change.”


“BME individuals in the UK are both less likely to participate in and then less likely to progress through the workplace, when compared with White individuals. Barriers exist, from entry through to board level, that prevent these individuals from reaching their full potential. This is not only unjust for them, but the ‘lost’ productivity and potential represents a huge missed opportunity for businesses and impacts the economy as a whole.”


“No company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion can be taken seriously until it collects, scrutinises and is transparent with its workforce data. This means being honest with themselves about where they are and where they need to get to as well as being honest with the people they employ.”


“Employers must publish their aspirational targets, be transparent about their progress and be accountable for delivering them. The Government must also legislate to make larger businesses publish their ethnicity data by salary band to show progress. This isn’t about naming and shaming. No large business has a truly diverse and inclusive workforce from top to bottom at the moment, but through publishing this data, the best employers will be able to show their successes and encourage others to follow.”

The ‘Middle’ Report, Black British Business Awards and EMPower (link)

A report examining why BAME middle managers are not progressing to senior executive roles within large businesses in the UK

“All the stakeholders we engaged with have a clear intention to improve the current position within their own organisations, but feel hamstrung by the discomfort of discussing race in the work place and lack of availability of data to help them to determine strategic priorities for targeted initiatives.”


“Stakeholders agree that relevant baseline data is important both in order to measure progress against a starting point, and to construct a change agenda for greatest and lasting impact.”


“Executive Sponsors, HR Directors and D&I Practitioners all agree that BAME employees progress at a slower rate than their counterparts, that they receive fewer promotion opportunities even when ready for promotion, and that there is a further factor of low retention rates for BAME employees.”


Equality and Human Rights Commission, Healing a Divided Britain (link)


Major review into race inequality in Great Britain


Black workers with degrees were on average found to earn 23.1% less than white workers with similar qualifications.


In Britain, around 10.7% of white people worked as managers, directors and senior officials, but for Black people that figure was just 5.7%.


Black people who leave school with A-levels typically get paid 14.3% less than their white peers.



Wyatt and Silvester, Reflections on the Labyrinth: Investigating Black and Minority Ethnic Leaders’ Career Experiences (Human Relations, 2015, Vol. 68(8) 1243 –1269)


“BME managers found it harder to access informal organizational processes (e.g. from networks) to increase their visibility and reputation with senior decision-makers. Instead, they relied on formal processes, such as focusing on working longer and harder in their roles, learning how to pass formal promotion assessments, or participating in formal networks, development and mentoring schemes in order to progress. In contrast, white managers treated formal and informal routes as equally legitimate ways to progress their careers.”


“In contrast, informal processes rely more heavily on contextual performance, which according to Borman and Motowidlo (1993: 73) includes job behaviour that can ‘support the organizational, social and psychological environment in which the technical core must function’ such as volunteering and co-operating with others. In our study, contextual performance was evident amongst those who achieved ‘high-profile’ work assignments, which, despite requiring similar levels of task performance, were considered superior owing to their greater contribution to the organization’s objectives and the resulting exposure they gave managers.”


“Importantly, contextual performance relies more heavily on tacit knowledge of organizational practices, which is rarely written down or formalized (Nonaka, 1994), but acquired through shared experiences and communication via workplace relationships with those who have the know-how and understanding of the skills required for specific contexts (Nonaka and von Krogh, 2009). As such, tacit knowledge is likely to be accessed via guides, such as mentors, network contacts and relationships with senior personnel (Blass et al., 2007) – the very relationships that BME managers report difficulty in forming, both here and in previous studies (Ibarra and Deshpande, 2007; Ragins, 2010). This suggests that they will find it more difficult to gain the knowledge or ‘golden thread’ to help them navigate informal routes through the labyrinth.”


“While BME managers may have to rely on explicit knowledge about formalized paths to reach their goal, it seems that white managers are more likely to be passed a ‘golden thread’ to help guide them through informal channels, allowing them to progress more quickly to leadership roles.”



Rafferty, Ethnic Penalties in Graduate Level Over-Education, Unemployment and Wages: Evidence From Britain (Work, Employment & Society 26(6): 987–1006)


“Although past research suggests education for many minority ethnic men and women has provided a route to better employment or higher occupational status (Dale et al., 2002; Modood, 2004; Platt, 2007), the current findings indicate higher level qualifications still do not appear to provide a panacea or facilitate an equalization of labour market outcomes to those of comparably educated white UK born men and women.”


“Although vocational differences between ethnic groups may partly reflect historical patterns of geographical and occupational settlement, ethnic or racial stereotyping and workplace cultures related to both gender and ethnicity can place significant barriers to accessing professions, career advancement, or moving occupations (Bolton and Muzio, 2008; Bradley et al., 2007; Stainback et al., 2010).”

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