• Key Findings

  • Just 51 out of the 1097 most powerful roles in the country are filled by non-white individuals

  • This is a gain of only 1.2% or 15 additional ethnic minority held roles in three years

  • Of the 39 departments categorised, 15 had no ethnic minority representation

  • Out of 1097 roles, only 286 are female, or 26.1%

The Colour of Power is a visual depiction of the diversity composition of Britain’s most powerful decision makers across the public and private sectors. Scrolling through the faces in the index, it is immediately evident that our nation’s leaders are predominately male and white and when viewed in the context of our population at 51% female and 13% ethnic minority, it is clear that those who hold the power are not representative of the diversity of the people they serve.

More alarming still is that despite increased public and shareholder pressure to address the lack of diversity at our top levels, when we compare the findings of this year’s survey with that of 2017, there has been barely any change:

  •  Out of 1097 roles, only 51 (4. 7%) are ethnic minorities. This is a 2 percentile point increase in three years (15 people).
  • Of the 39 departments categorized, 15 (38.5%) had no ethnic minority representation.
  • Ethnic minority females account for only 10 roles out of 1097 (0.9%). Out of these only 2 are black females (0.2%).
  • A total of just 16 roles are held by black males and females accounting for 5% of the total roles.
  • 5 out of 39 categories have seen a reduction in ethnic minority held roles. CEO’s of Media Agencies have seen the biggest loss, going from 2 ethnic minority members out of 10 (20%) to 0.
  • CEOs of NHS Trusts, Leaders of Unitary Authority Councils, CEOs of Public Bodies, and CEOs of Top Charities have also all seen a reduction in ethnic minority representation with the loss of 1 member each.
  • 21 out of 39 categories (54%) have seen no change in the number of ethnic minority members.
  • Both CEO’s of London Borough Councils and Government Ministers have increased their ethnic minority members by 3.
  • Out of 1097 roles, only 286 (26.1%) are female. This is only a 5 percentile point increase in three years (47 people).
  • Of the 39 departments categorised, 2 (5%) had no female representation.

Category Breakdown


Cabinet Members 28822674
CEOs of Top Law Firms20202201
CEOs of Arts and Culture Organisations20602050
CEOs of Business Organisations510510
CEOs of FTSE 10096529852
CEO’s of London Borough Councils269030123
CEOs of Media Agencies1062940
CEOs of Metro Borough Councils3214035140
CEOs of National Governing Bodies of Sport15301650
CEOs of Public Bodies2810128130
CEOs of Top Advertising Agencies20112061
CEOs of Top NHS Trusts5123150200
CEOs of Top Accounting Firms21312132
CEOs of Top Charities10221041
CEOs of Top Consulting Firms20312013
CEOs of Top Publishing Firms10001011
CEOs of Top UK Banks & Financial Institutions13101110
Unitary Authority Council CEOs5014053202
Chairs of NHS Trusts5016250163
Chief Constables46504370
Directly Elected Mayors2342 2433
Government Ministers8920394336
Editors of National Newspapers15201761
Editors of Top 10 UK Women’s Fashion & Lifestyle Magazines10921092
Heads of the Intelligence Agencies300300
Leaders of London Borough Councils27842884
Leaders of Metro Borough Councils32413371
Leaders of Political Parties Represented in Parliament13501250
Leaders of Trade Unions318047131
Leaders of Unitary Authorities5092 53101
Managers of Premier League20012001
Managing Directors of TV Broadcasters12201010
Members of Defence Council for the Armed Forces1210910
Permanent Secretaries in the Civil Service Board13301640
Police and Crime Commissioners43814291
Scottish Parliament Ministers23101 26131
Supreme Court Judges11101220
Vice-Chancellors of Top 50 Universities501035095
Welsh Assembly AMs9311481