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Myth #6: "Black People Have Equal Access to Opportunities"

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Myth #6:  “Black People Have Equal Access To Opportunities”

Reality: On the surface, it may seem that socio-economic opportunities are generally available to all. In reality inequalities exist in all areas of society and equality of outcome is rarely achieved.

Black African/Caribbean people make up 3.3% of the UK population yet bear the highest percentage of unemployment rate at 9% of the total unemployment rate. Black People statistically earn up to 23% less than white counterparts working an equivalent job with the same level of qualifications. If an individual experiences multiple axes of oppression (has multiple underrepresented, liberation based, protected characteristics), these discrepancies increase.  

Across UK universities the amount of Black female professors is at 25, with Black professors in general making up less than 1% of academic staff and in reports in 2018/19 there were no Black staff in senior levels of leadership in universities. The same can be said for Black people in senior positions elsewhere. In the UK, only 1.5% of Managers, Directors and Senior officials are Black which has barely changed since 2014.

There are deadlines for FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies to appoint at least one non-white board level director by 2021 and 2024 respectively. More than a third are expected to fail the FTSE 100 target for 2021. As of February 2020, 40% of FTSE 100 companies and 70% of FTSE 250 companies do not have a person of colour on their board of directors.

Equality of opportunity doesn’t always mean equality of outcome.

References:

 - https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/uk-population-by-ethnicity/national-and-regional-populations/population-of-england-and-wales/latest#by-ethnicity - 2011 Census (last updated

 - https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/work-pay-and-benefits/unemployment-and-economic-inactivity/unemployment/latest#by-ethnicity - Oct 2019 (last updated 30 Sept 2020), accessed Dec 2020

 -  https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/healing_a_divided_britain_-_the_need_for_a_comprehensive_race_equality_strategy_final.pdf - accessed Nov 2020

 - https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/feb/27/fewer-than-1-of-uk-university-professors-are-black-figures-show 

 - https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/22/uk-black-professional-representation-has-barely-budged-since-2014

 - https://thehrworld.co.uk/news-article?title=A%20third%20of%20FTSE%20100%20companies%20set%20to%20miss%20ethnic%20diversity%20targets&id=163

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