November 18, 2016

Bittersweet Success? Glass Ceilings for Britain’s Ethnic Minorities at the Top of Business and the Professions

Policy Exchange’s major new report on ethnic minority progression at the top of business and the professions is a story of glass half full and glass half empty.

In the past generation, a cohort of talented minority Brits has emerged from elite universities into top posts in medicine, the law, and some parts of business. Indeed, minority representation in the highest social class — the higher managerial and professional class — is now 11.6 per cent non-white minority compared to just 10.8 per cent white people.

But there are still blockages in particular at the very top of the NHS, the civil service, academia and business — the FTSE100 has only 17 non-white British-born directors out of more than 1,000.

Lead author of the report, Shamit Saggar, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Essex, said:

Britain has a melting pot of talent. It is clear from our research that people from a minority background are progressing in nearly every walk of life. This is down to hard work, drive and a determination to succeed, a clear trait among many minority communities. But there are still some blockages and ‘snowy white peaks’ at the very top of business and in our public institutions.

Click here for coverage from the FT, here for coverage from the Guardian, and here for coverage from City A.M.


Shamit Saggar

Shamit Saggar is Professor of Public Policy at the University of Essex

Richard Norrie

Demography, Immigration, and Integration Research Fellow 2016 – 2018

Michelle Bannister

Michelle Bannister is a research policy consultant

David Goodhart

Head of Demography, Immigration & Integration

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