On Tuesday 24th October The Powerlist Magazine celebrated another successful launch making #Powerlist2018 the 11th year the magazine has been published. The magazine names the top 100 Black African-Caribbean individuals all taking huge strides in their various fields. The event was held at the stunning Drapers Hall, London and was attended by well over 300 people. However, this year’s event was particularly special as it was focused on women; black women to be precise.
The theme took precedence across the evening as the accolades of a stream of phenomenal Black women were celebrated. Gina Miller, most known for her recent Brexit legal challenge which led to a ruling that meant Parliament had to vote on whether Article 50 could be triggered, was named the most influential Black person in Britain.
However, while the event was an incredible moment celebrating Blackness in the most positive light, it was interesting to see the number of people who took to twitter to criticise the awards with some claiming that if it were a “Britain’s most influential white person” award it would be considered racist.
But it seems like these people are completely missing the point.
According to an analysis conducted by the Guardian and Operation Black Vote, “out of the 1,049 most powerful people in Britain only 36 are from ethnic minorities and only 7 of those are women”. While recent headlines across various media outlets highlighted the sheer lack of BAME individuals in top positions, with not a single woman from an ethnic minority being the CEO or chief financial officer of any FTSE 100 business. And yet we had over 300 phenomenal Black men and women all in one room.
“… not a single woman from an ethnic minority being the CEO or chief financial officer of any FTSE 100 business.”
So, what do these awards highlight? The awards are not about creating greater divide but they are about celebrating Black people who are too often forgotten despite their significant contribution to British society. We are proud to say that as a company in the Design & Build industry we are very proud to say that we have 3 Black Women all in senior positions, so what does that say about other organisations? It says that the excuse of “we can’t find them” is just that: an excuse, and it no longer stands. Black women particularly, continue to be denied senior positions and are often not given adequate support especially within large corporations.
“… we have 3 Black Women all in senior positions so what does that say about other organisations?”
And so, you ask, how then can companies start getting more Black women into senior positions?
It’s quite simple: hire them, truly support them in order to retain them, and encourage their growth! Next year our company will be turning 20 years old and it is these very Black women that have allowed our business to thrive.
Therefore, magazines like The Powerlist are necessary not only to give these individuals the recognition they deserve, but also to give young Black men and women role models that also encourage them to be game changers.
So to a dear friend of the business: Michael Eboda (Powerful Media Ltd CEO) we continue to support you and we are more than ready for #Powerlist2019, see you next year!
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