Race to the Future

Executive Summary / Introduction

The challenges and opportunities for ethnic minorities in UK workforce in 2025.

If a week is a long time in politics, then 15 years is an aeon in terms of opening up opportunities for ethnic minorities in the UK. It is hard to remember what conditions in the UK economy and labour market were like in 1995. Even harder, therefore, to imagine what life might be like in 15 years’ time. Fortunately key figures from business, media, politics and academia have kindly given us their insight into the challenges and opportunities that the coming decade and a half might offer.


A lot has changed for the better. Black, asian and minority ethnic (Bame) people numbered 3 million or 5.5% of the population, according to the 1991 Census. there were just seven MPS from a minority background and precious few senior business fi gures. as the Bame share of the population has roughly doubled to one in 10, the number of black and ethnic minority mPs has risen fourfold to 27, while the promotion of tidjane thiam as the fi rst chief executive of a Ftse 100 company – Prudential – is a sign of change in the City. But it is also important to acknowledge the glacial rate of change. Despite the increase, ethnic minority politicians only take 4% of the seats in the House of Commons and 5% (38 of 745 members) in the lords and only a handful of Bame directors hold seats on Ftse 100 boards, of whom many are american or asian citizens or, as in the case of mr thiam, an ivory Coast-born French national. it is not just at the highest levels of society that this gap between population and employment exists; Bame workers make up just 8.5% of employment – less than their share of population. While around 75% of white Britons of working age are employed, fewer than 60% of non-white minority ethnic people have jobs.



The Full Story

Looking forward 15 years, the one certainty is that Britain will look very different in 2025. The expected change in the population is both an opportunity and a challenge. What is not clear is how businesses, politicians and educators will respond. This document sets out the best and worst case scenarios.

Take Action

Read more about the Race series of documents. A synopsis of the research from Race for Opportunity that provides an invaluable insight into the challenges faced by both people from ethnic minorities and the initiatives employers are undertaking to provide progression opportunities and reverse unconcious bias.