“It’s horrific that we’re still seeing fewer opportunities for ethnic minority employees and people of colour, and alarming ethnicity pay gaps across businesses,” said Suki Sandhu OBE, INvolve founder and CEO, in a statement announcing the results of EMpower’s annual Role Model lists.

Despite the disparity in pay gaps, EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC professionals have been honoured in the lists.

The EMpower top 100 ethnic minority executives lists senior people of colour leading by example, and EMpower top 15 minority advocates, which lists executives who are not of colour but are dedicated to diversity. Likewise, the top 50 ethnic minority future leaders lists professionals of an ethnic minority background with a bright and influential future.

The top ten of the 100 ethnic minority executives list includes professionals from banking, media and advertising. EY’s Sanjay Bhandari, partner sponsor for ethnic minorities, comes in at seventh place, while Adrian Joseph, heading artificial intelligence at the same firm, comes in at 13.

Deloitte’s Mitul Shah, who leads the reward consulting practice, comes in at 23, with Nadun Muthukumarana, partner, takes 59.

PwC’s Tunji Akintokun, director and head of UK sales, comes in at 18 with Albertha Charles, partner and part of the talent and diversity council at PwC, comes in at 22.

Kevin Ellis, PwC chairman, named eighth in the top 15 minority advocates said: “Equality of opportunity is fundamental to our culture at PwC and I believe it’s important to be open about both our progress and the challenges we face. Equality and diversity is in everyone’s best interests, so we believe a holistic approach to improving ethnic diversity in the workforce.

“By taking a range of actions from voluntarily publishing our ethnicity pay gap, to opening a new centre in Bradford, or partnering with UKBlackTech, we’re hoping to drive positive change for our employees, potential recruits, clients and the communities in which we work.”

The PwC diversity pay report published in September last year, puts the mean black, asian, minority ethnic (BAME) pay gap against non-BAME employees at 13.5%.

KPMG’s Philip Davidson was named at seven in the top 15 minority advocates for his work as sponsoring partner of KPMG’s Black Heritage Reverse Mentoring programme.

However, the number one spot on the EMpower top 15 minority advocates list was taken by Deloitte’s UK chair, Nick Owen.

“It’s an honour to have been named as the number one EMpower Ethnic Minority Advocate,” said Owen in a statement, “I am proud that we have built a culture of constant opportunity and growth, providing an environment where all our people can thrive. I will continue to champion this until we achieve ethnic minority, gender and social diversity at all levels of our organisation.”

Future ethnic minority leaders

Looking to the future of the industry, Deloitte, PwC and EY make the 50 ethnic minority future leaders list.

Mary Agbesanwa, senior associate management consultant at PwC, takes the 13th spot in the same list, having co-chaired the firm’s Multicultural Business Network (MBN) and driving the ‘ColourBrave’ strategy. Dara Kirton, a PwC senior manager, comes in at 29 for her role in founding the PwC Diversity Mentoring scheme to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to seek careers in professional services.

Shilpa Shah, director in consulting, leading on alternative delivery models at Deloitte, comes in at 11, recognised for mentoring women and girls of BAME background. Anjeli Patel, a Deloitte senior consultant, comes in at 41. Patel was recognised by Leicester City Council’s annual LGBT+ role models list.

Deloitte’s mean BAME pay gap stands at 12.9% (11.7% in 2017).

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