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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Pale, male and stale? White men run UK’s charities

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Research shows shocking lack of representation in top jobs by ethnic minorities

Diversity is “absent” from Britain’s largest charities as new research shows white males dominate the UK’s largest charities.

Two Organisations called Green Park and Operation Black Vote commissioned the Colour of Power study to look at who holds the top jobs in public, private and democratic institutions.

The research shows leading charities, which exist to raise hundreds of millions of pounds for a broad cross-section of society, do not always ensure equitable representation from women and those of an ethnic minority background.

Overall, the findings paint a negative picture of opportunities for Britain’s black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (BAME) to reach the very top jobs in the UK.

The research looked at 37 areas, and found that only 3.4% of the 1,049 top posts were held by BAME individuals.

This means that Britain’s most powerful elite is 97% white, while their share of the population as a whole is 87%.

Notable exceptions identified by the research are Clive Adams, Territorial Commander of the Salvation Army Trust and Harpal S Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK.

Raj Tulsiani, chief executive of Green Park, said: “As a nation we give nearly £10 billion to charities every year. The top charitable organisation receive hundreds of millions of pounds in funding and their campaigns influence how we target our philanthropy.

“The findings in the Colour of Power serve to underline the absence of diversity in the third sector and is a clear signal that firms don’t understand the need to modernise to reflect their donor base.

“The upper echelons of leadership the UK’s charity sector need to resemble the diverse constituents of British society, including those who donate money and those who receive it.”

Simon Woolley, director of OBV, stated: “The findings are troubling: charities serve the whole population and would be immeasurably more effective with a greater diversity of views to serve our increasingly multifaceted, multicultural society.

“By honestly recognising the challenge and effectively dealing with it, we will massively unleash potential talent which would benefit every aspect of our society.”



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