Empowering ethnic minority workers on their journey to leadership

Three women in a meeting room

Historically Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups’ career progression has often been analysed simply by looking at the formal side – application, appraisal and performance management.

Dr Madeleine Wyatt, Senior Lecturer in Human Resources Management from the Kent Business School researches the impact that the informal and political processes – networking, informal promotions etc. have on career progression.

Approximately 13-15% of the workforce are from ethnic minority backgrounds and yet they hold only 1-2% of senior positions, roles which are commonly dominated by white men. Breaking down the politics of organisations to enable access to personal mentorships and networks is vital for career progression, and without this ethnic minority groups will remain disadvantaged.

Dr Wyatt has worked with several companies to review internal politics and introduce initiatives to ensure organisations become more inclusive.

The research revealed that ethnic minority employees are often excluded from the relationships that help them navigate office politics, such as mentorships, networks, and developmental interactions with line managers. Following on from this discovery Dr Wyatt has been working to improve understanding of the impact of workplace politics on equality, diversity and inclusion.

The University of Kent strives to ensure equality for both students and staff, more information can be found through these links BAME Staff NetworkStudent Success (EDI) ProjectEDI Network.