Western University. Photo by Victoria Sartor, BlackburnNews.com.Western University. Photo by Victoria Sartor, BlackburnNews.com.

Most Senior London Leaders Are White Men

Visible minorities aren't getting their fair share of senior leadership roles in London, according to a new study.

The study led by Western University researchers found only 7.9% of senior leaders in the non-profit and public sectors were identified as visible minorities, despite making up 13.1% of London's population. The figure indicates significant under-representation for the group and is even worse for visible minority women.

Only 3.1% of visible minority women hold top leadership positions in the city.

At city hall, the study found none of the 15 top non-elected jobs are held by a visible minority.

"This is very concerning. If we don't have visible minorities and visible minority women in these positions then decisions that are being made don't necessarily reflect the population that they are supposed to represent," says Victoria Esses, director of the Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations. "In addition it signals who has access to power within the community."

Ottawa is in the same boat as London with a similarly low number of visible minorities in senior leadership roles, with women again being severely under-represented. Provincially, leadership positions in Ontario’s agencies, boards, and commissions fail to have adequate representation of visible minorities.

"This study suggests that we need to look into why this is occurring and more importantly implement programs to address these issues so that if we do this study again in five years the data will look better. We will be able to use this as a baseline to show how things are hopefully improving," says Esses.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hamilton has a near even ratio of visible minority leaders compared to the number that make up its population - roughly 14%.

The study was a conducted over a six-month period. The results were released to the public on Tuesday.

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