Why diverse and representative leadership is so important

Our Future Leaders of Nottingham programme, commissioned by Nottingham City Council, is helping to make leadership in the city more diverse and representative – and it’s proved so successful, there’s already a waiting list for 2018.

The business case for increasing diversity and representation is huge. For example, research by McKinsey found that companies with a gender-diverse board were 15% more likely to outperform their peers financially, and those with an ethnically-diverse board a whopping 35% more likely.

A more diverse and representative workforce, including at leadership level, is also great news for the economy. A recent government-backed review found that helping people from BAME backgrounds to progress in their careers at the same rate as their white counterparts could be worth £24bn to the UK economy each year.

But across the UK, leadership is still hugely under-representative of women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, with just 6% of people from BAME backgrounds in top jobs and only 22% of women.

Currently, people from BAME backgrounds only make up 10% of the workforce, despite making up 14% of the working age population; and are also more likely to work in lower paid and lower skilled jobs, despite being more likely to have a degree.

LGBT+ communities also face discrimination in the workplace, with a recent survey finding that over half of LGBT+ employees hide their sexual orientation and gender identity; and 23% remain closeted because they think they won’t be considered for promotion or development opportunities. In addition, there’s no official benchmark of LGBT+ inclusion at board level.

The Future Leaders of Nottingham programme identifies people from under-represented communities to take on future leadership roles across the city – in the private, public and voluntary sectors. It includes masterclasses, workshops and activities to help train Nottingham’s future leaders; and pairs them with mentors who are already leaders in the city.

To make sure the programme discovers people with genuine leadership qualities, rather than simply choose those already in management positions, applicants go through a rigorous selection process.

A range of Nottingham organisations have supported the initiative as programme sponsors, including Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, Nottingham City Homes, Futures Advice, Skills and Employment Ltd and Communities Inc.

If you’d like to register your interest in 2018’s Future Leaders of Nottingham programme please email enquiries@renewaltrust.org.uk or call 0115 911 2226.

Future Leaders of Nottingham