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Case StudiesGEO / Fawcett Society

Learning how the most powerful ethnic minority women in the UK overcame barriers to reach the top of their professions

The Brief

Ethnic minority women are under-represented in positions of power and senior decision-making authority. This is true across the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as in politics. Our job was 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 ways to the top.

The brief was wide-ranging. It covered:

  • The motivations behind senior ethnic minority women’s 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 bring to organisations
  • How support the career progression of more ethnic minority women

The challenges they faced

  • Accessing senior ethnic minority women across the public, private and third sectors
  • Establishing trust and rapport to elicit deep experiences and genuine insights
  • Protecting the confidentiality of women concerned about the possible impact of their disclosures

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