Ethnic Minority Women: Routes to Power
Ethnic minority women are under-represented in positions of power and senior decision-making authority. The specific reasons for this under- representation are not well understood, beyond generalisations about all women, or all people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
ETHNOS was asked to conduct research to understand better why ethnic minority women are so under-represented in positions of power, by exploring the experiences of ethnic minority women who have succeeded in making their way to the top.
We conducted twenty-three in-depth, individual interviews with senior ethnic minority women, and three focus groups with ethnic minority women who are currently becoming more high profile as local councillors, grassroots activists and in public appointments. The research participants were chosen to reflect a diversity of ethnic backgrounds and to provide insights into different sectors. Many of these women had received a range of awards (including honorary doctorates and professorships, life peerages, MBE, OBE and CBE awards and various professional achievement awards) in recognition of their outstanding and innovative contributions.
The final published report highlighted:
- The motivations behind their achievements.
- The professional trajectories they followed.
- The barriers and challenges they met along the way.
- The strategies they employed to overcome and handle these.
- The added value they brought to organisations.
- Their suggestions on how to support more ethnic minority women getting into senior decision-making roles.