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#ColourofPower2021 – Black Lives Matter boosting change – OBVs Colour of Power research shows the number of BAME Individuals in prominent public positions has risen to 73, nearly doubling since 2017, but can this really be considered success? 

The Colour of Power 2021: Black Lives Matter boosting change

PRESS RELEASE IMMEDIATE: 26/07/21
CONTACT: 07920 057 237/07584 177 529

The Colour of Power 2021: Black Lives Matter boosting change

When Operation Black Vote launched ‘The Colour of Power’, back in 2017 we hoped that the stark visualisation of what power looked like both in racial and in gender terms would begin an inexorable conversation and that would lead to inevitable positive change. In truth that stark realisation wasn’t enough. Our then media partners The Guardian – gave the project unprecedented coverage – some 10 pages and three podcasts of coverage, but by 2020, three years later our data showed little had changed.

However, in the past 12 -18 months the dial is beginning to move more quickly than ever before. So, today a snap shot now compared to four years ago shows a doubling of the number of British Black, Asian, and minority ethnic faces in very high places. In 2017 we were at 36, today it’s 73 – tantalisingly just over double.

The greatest shift has been in politics, which has seen significant and positive changes from both Labour and the Conservatives, with the Prime Minister appointing a record number of BAME Cabinet members (6) and Ministers (7) to his Government. Whilst the Labour boasts a record number of BAME Mayors (4) and Council leaders (11) all of which is particularly pleasing for us at Operation Black Vote as we celebrate our 25th anniversary this month.

Other small but significant changes can be seen in areas such as Vice Chancellors (6) NHS trusts (3) Consultancy firms (3) and FTSE 100 firms (6) and Trade Unions (2) Premiership managers (2)

In terms of which ethnic groups have seen the biggest increase it has be Asian men. But overall BAME women have jumped from a low base of (7) to a record number of (18)

Women in general have moved up, but again not as far as one would expect in a four year period, from 23% to 27%.

GENDER 2017 2021
WERE BLACK ASIAN OR MINORITY ETHNIC MEN AND WOMEN 37 OR 3.4% 73 OR 6.3%
WERE BLACK ASIAN OR MINORITY ETHNIC WOMEN 7 OR 0.7% 19 OR 1.6%
ALL WOMEN 272 OR 23.6% 327 OR 28%

 

  AREA OF PUBLIC LIFE 2017 2021 Change
1 FTSE 100 2 6 + chg
2 UK GOVT CABINET 2 6 + chg
3 PUBLIC BODIES CHIEFS 1 0      – chg
4 UK GOVT MINISTERS 3 7 + chg
5 LONDON COUNCIL LEADERS 4 7 + chg
6 LONDON COUNCIL CHIEFS 1 4 + chg
7 PREMIER LEAGUE MANAGERS 1 2 + chg
8 CEO OF ARTS & CULTURE ORGANISATION 0 1 + chg
9 EDITORS OF NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS 0 2 + chg
10 METROPOLITAN BOROUGH LEADERS 1 3 + chg
11 METROPOLITAIN BOROUGH CEOS 0 1 + chg
12 UNITARY AUTHORITY CEOS 1 2 + chg
13 CEO / MANAGING PARTNER AT TOP LAW FIRMS 0 1 + chg
14 CEO OF A TOP PUBLISHER 1 1 NO CHANGE
15 CHIEF CONSTABLES 0 0 NO CHANGE
16 POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS 0 0 NO CHANGE
17 POLICE COMMISSIONERS 1 1 NO CHANGE
18 CHAIRS OF TOP 50 NHS TRUSTS 2 3 + chg
19 CEOS OF TOP ADVERTISING AGENCIES 1 1 NO CHANGE
20 CEO OF A TOP 50 NHS TRUST 1 1 NO CHANGE
21 WELSH ASSEMBLY CABINET 1 1 NO CHANGE
22 MANAGING DIRECTORS OF TV BROADCASTERS 0 0 NO CHANGE
23 UNITARY AUTHORITY LEADERS 3 1 – chg
24 CEOS OF TOP CONSULTING FIRMS 0 3 + chg
25 CEOS OF BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS 0 0 NO CHANGE
26 DIRECTLY ELECTED MAYORS 2 4 + chg
27 TRADE UNION LEADERS 0 2 + chg
28 VICE CHANCELLORS OF TOP UNIVERSITIES 2 6 + chg
29 CEOS OF ACCOUNTING FIRMS 1 2 + chg
30 SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT MINISTERS 1 1 NO CHANGE
31 SUPREME COURT JUDGES 0 0 NO CHANGE
32 DEFENCE COUNCIL MEMBERS 0 0 NO CHANGE
33 HEADS OF INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES 0 0 NO CHANGE
34 PERMANENT SECRETARIES IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 0 0 NO CHANGE
35 CEOS OF TOP UK BANKS 0 1 + chg
36 CEOS OF MEDIA AGENCIES 0 0 NO CHANGE
37 EDITORS OF UK FASHION AND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINES 2 2 NO CHANGE
38 CEOS OF TOP CHARITIES 2 1 – chg
39 CEOS OF NATIONAL GOVERNING BODIES OF SPORT 0 0 NO CHANGE
  SUM    36    73  

 

Simon Woolley, OBV Director said: Since the death of George Floyd and the unprecedented Black Lives Matters protests that followed there have been some very deep and at times uncomfortable conversations about race inequality and lived experiences that were almost never heard before. OBV’s ground breaking data would suggest that those conversations are now translating into real change in what power looks like. Our data also painfully highlights those areas where movement is worse than glacial. The challenge and hope is to keep this momentum going: Conversation, acknowledgement, positive action. When we do everyone benefits.

Ashok Viswanathan, OBV COO and CoP coordinator said: Black faces in high places are what OBV is about. We’ve seen significant change since the 2017 polling, with the number of minority ethnic leaders across the most powerful organisations in the UK nearly doubling. However, there is still work to be done as this figure is only 50% a reflection of modern society. Regrettably, four years after the 2017 iteration and last year’s of Black Lives Matter protests, several institutions remain overwhelmingly, if not entirely, white and male. The struggle continues.

Notes to editor:

  1. OBV seeks to confront persistent racial inequalities by politically empowering Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, particularly the disadvantaged, and young people; nurturing BAME individuals so that they can take up roles in our civic, political, decision-making and community spaces; and to help transform institutions to become more inclusive, modern and representative. www.obv.org.uk
  2. OBV uses the terms Black and BAME as an intersectional and inclusive term to include, African, Arab, Asian Caribbean, Chinese, and other BAME backgrounds.

 

 

READ: https://bit.ly/3y7RzYd 

Website: https://thecolourofpower.co.uk

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