55% of ethnic minority Brits advised to be ‘more realistic’ about career aspirations

14 December 2018

Equality Group commissioned nationally representative research that delves into UK ethnic minority citizens, their career aspirations and the inequalities that persist within the world of work.

The research is launched amidst latest industry data that shows only 84 of the 1,084 directors in the FTSE100 originate from an ethnic minority.

Key Research Implications:

  • Over 3 million ethnic minority Brits (59%) aspired upon leaving school of securing a role at senior management, director and/or board level
  • Half of the ethnic minority respondents noted that there are no prominent role models of their ethnic profile in positions they aspire/ have aspired to reach professionally
  • 58% - over 3 million - ethnic minority citizens stated that they had friends and family role models who they considered aspirational in relation to their career progression 
  • Over half (55%) - almost 3 million - ethnic minority citizens declared that they were advised to be more realistic in regards of their career goals by those who influenced their career, compared to only 19% of non-minority ethnic citizens.
  • 46% - 2.5 million - ethnic minority citizens were encouraged to commence their career in a role that did not reflect their career aspirations or academic credentials at that time.
  • Three-quarters of minority respondents (75%) - almost 4 million people - noted that their professional success is down to personal merit, conviction and perseverance and not the guidance of academic or professional support. 
  • 50% of ethnic minority respondents were the first generation within their family to attend university versus only 26% of non-ethnic respondents.
  • 46% - two and a half million - ethnic minority citizens stated they would feel supported if there is ethnic minority representation at board/director level as they believe it would aid their career progression in a fairer manner.


CIPP comment

In her February 2017 report, Race in the Workplace, Baroness McGregor-Smith recommended that the government should legislate to introduce mandatory reporting of ethnicity pay data. At the time, the government said that the case had been made for ethnicity reporting and it expected businesses to do this voluntarily; however, only a small number of employers have chosen to do so.

Alongside a Race in the Workplace Charter, the government published a consultation on ethnicity pay reporting, which invites views on mirroring some or all elements of the gender pay gap regulations such as proposing the same threshold of 250 employees or above for mandatory reporting. 

Please take a few minutes if you haven’t already to provide your input by completing the CIPP survey on ethnicity pay reporting (closes 4 January). Thank you.