Methodology

We have visually illustrated the Colour of Power in Britain’s top levels across a broad spectrum of private and public institutions by collating a series of publicly available lists and photos. In order to provide comparable data, we have included the same or equivalent posts of power to those used in our 2017 analysis. These cover a broad spectrum of sectors, chosen on the basis of which institutions most affect our lives.

Some categories are more obvious than others, including national government, the banking industry and our universities. Others required greater consideration. Mainly, selecting the various sectors came down to ensuring the legitimacy of the project: we wanted to include sectors that play a significant role within our society, but equally represent posts which, in theory, should be open to any one of our future leaders here in the UK. For example, owning a Premiership football club is not the same as managing one. The first often requires a billion-pound personal bank account, while the second simply demands insight, tactical nous and man management.

UK Working Age Population

Another consideration was in compiling the institutions/individuals within the chosen categories. While the numbers of elected mayors in the UK are finite and definite, collating a list of top consultancy firms is an altogether different proposition. Here we have relied on existing trade indexes which use a data-driven matrix to rank their top group, such as revenue and headcount.

We are acutely aware that the individuals in these posts are not static, however to the best of our knowledge, our analysis is correct as of 1st of July 2020 and compares to previous data collected and correct as of the 16th July 2017.

In our key findings we have summarised our data based on the perceived gender and ethnicity of category members. We appreciate that this may leave a margin of error and have tried to cross reference this data with alternative online sources where possible.

The results should be viewed within the context of the country’s current gender and ethnocultural composition. In 2011, most of the UK population described themselves as belonging to the white ethnic group (87%, or 55 million). The remaining 13% (8.1 million) belonged to a minority ethnic group, representing one person in eight of the UK population. 51% of the population was identified as female.

  • Edit: On 28.07.20, 13:00 the data was updated to include the CEO’s London Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Royal Borough of Greenwich. While this has not altered the overall findings and key messages of the report, it has marginally altered some statistics which may cause discrepancies with data published by third parties in the 22 hours prior to the amends. 

CATEGORY SOURCES

Cabinet Members, CEO/Managing Partners of Top 20 Law Firms, CEOs of Arts and Culture Organisations, CEOs of Business Organisations, CEOs of FTSE 100, CEO’s of London Borough Councils, CEOs of Media Agencies, CEOs of Metro Borough Council, CEOs of National Governing Bodies of Sport CEOs of Public Bodies, CEOs of Top 20 Advertising Agencies, CEOs of Top 50 NHS Trusts, CEOs of Top Accounting Firms, CEOs of Top Charities, CEOs of Top Consulting Firms, CEOs of Top Publishing Firms, CEOs of Top UK Banks & Financial Institutions, CEO’s of Unitary Authority Councils, Chairs of Top 50 NHS Trusts, Chief Constables, Directly Elected Mayors, Editors of National Newspapers, Editors of Top 10 UK Women’s Fashion & Lifestyle Magazines, Government Ministers, Heads of the Intelligence Agencies, Leaders of London Borough Councils, Leaders of Metro Borough Councils, Leaders of Political Parties Represented in Parliament, Leaders of Trade Unions, Leaders of Unitary Authorities, Managers of Premier League, Managing Directors of TV Broadcasters, Members of Defence Council for the Armed Forces, Permanent Secretaries in the Civil Service Board, Police and Crime Commissioners, Scottish Parliament Ministers, Supreme Court Judges, Vice-Chancellors of Top 50 Universities Welsh Assembly AMs.