The Colour of Power

We are very proud to launch the first Colour of Power Index with our partners Operation Black Vote.

This first-of-its-kind review has the potential to begin an honest debate in the UK about who wields power and, as a result, what might be the unintended consequences for all of us.

Perhaps even more boldly, it may precipitate a broader conversation about who we are as a nation of people, and who we want to be. Unlocking more talent does not mean there are fewer spoils to share amongst us. This is not a zero-sum game. The more talent, the more creativity we can produce simply means the more the spoils get bigger and better.

When we embarked on this journey we did not know exactly what we would find. We thought we would see some racial and gender gaps in certain positions of power due, in no small measure, to the way class and privilege play such an important part in pathways to positions such as high court judges and army generals.

But other areas, including union leaders and football managers, clearly demonstrated that class alone could not explain away why so few BME individuals, and women, were to be found in the highest positions of power.

The stark reality is that in 2017 pathways to the very top jobs in the UK for Britain’s black and minority ethnic communities are almost non-existent.


Of course we could dismiss the overall findings within ‘The Colour of Power’ – which show that for more than 1,000 of the most senior posts in the UK, only 3.4% of occupants are Black and Minority Ethnic (BME), and less than 23.6% are women – by arguing that they illustrate a particular UK meritocracy in which both BME individuals and women, in general, are simply not good enough.

Or we could view the data, uncomfortable as it is, as a unique opportunity to think about a situation in which perhaps we are inadvertently not realising vast potential talent beyond a very narrow spectrum.


Furthermore, we might begin a process of unlocking creativity, dynamism and a self-belief that many more individuals have the potential to achieve high, all of which would help transform our society in so many positive ways.

To be clear, this is not an exercise to bash private, public and democratic institutions, but rather for us all to see the vast potential that we are missing.

To read more on The Colour of Power, visit the website here:  or to learn more about our Diversity Practice  or how we can help your organisation achieve greater diverse leadership, visit Our Services