Why are the Ethnic Minority Role Model Lists important?

What are the EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model Lists?

How are the lists compiled?

Judging Criteria

Judging Panel

Why are the Ethnic Minority Role Model lists important?

Our boardrooms are lacking in diversity – there’s an absence of ethnic minority representation which has an impact at all levels of the organisation. The presence of powerful ethnic minority role models across all industries and sectors is necessary to develop a pipeline of diverse talent.

  • 1 in 8 of the working population is from a ethnic minority background. Yet only 1 in 10 are in the workplace.
  • Only 1 in 16 top management positions are held by an ethnic minority person.
  • Ethnic diversity in British boardrooms lags almost two decades behind female representation at the top level.
  • Less than 2% of British directors from FTSE 150 companies are black, Asian or minority ethnic.

What are the Ethnic Minority Role Model lists?

The EMpower Role Model lists are a powerful reflection and celebration of the incredible achievements of the ethnic minority* business community in UK, Ireland, Europe**, United States and Canada. They are published annually, in partnership with the Financial Times, showcasing 100 Ethnic Minority Executives, 15 Advocates and 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders.

There are three categories for which you can nominate inspirational Ethnic Minority Role Models:

  1. 100 Ethnic Minority Executives
    The 100 Ethnic Minority Executives category will recognise 100 senior role models who are helping to make the workplace a more welcoming place for ethnic minority employees. Nominees for this category will be successful senior ethnic minority executives working up to three levels from the chief executive.
  2. 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders
    In this category, EMpower present 50 inspirational Ethnic Minority Future Leaders. Role Models who work at all levels of an organisation and are making a significant contribution to ethnic minority inclusion wherever they are placed in the company.
  3. 15 Advocates
    This category will look at individuals who are not ethnic minority themselves, but who are dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace environment for ethnic minorities. Nominees for this category will be successful, executives working up to three levels from the chief executive.


How does it work?

  1. Nominations are submitted via the nominations page.
  2. Nominees are contacted for their supporting information.
  3. Nominations are scored by the EMpower Team.
  4. Ranking will be sent to the judging panel for secondary scoring and ratification.
  5. Successful nominees will be informed in the weeks leading up to publication of the FT supplement.
  6. The EMpower Ethnic Minority Leaders Lists are published on Thursday 31st May 2018 in the Financial Times.


  • Thursday 15th February – Nominations open
  • Friday 6th April – Nominations close
  • Monday 16th April – Deadline for supporting information
  • Tuesday 24th April – Judging/ranking finalised
  • Tuesday 15th May – Deadline to remove yourself from the process
  • Thursday 31st May – Publication & celebration of the lists

Judging Criteria

The EMpower Ethnic Minority Executives and Advocates will be judged according to four criteria:

  1. Activities undertaken to make the workplace a more welcoming environment for ethnic minority employees.
  2. Activities a nominee is involved with outside of the workplace that help to achieve positive change for ethnic minority people.
  3. Recent business awards and promotions (where ‘recent’ refers to the last 3 years).
  4. Seniority and influence in the business.

When nominating, a testimonial must be provided. This will be marked alongside the supporting information questions.

Each criterion will be scored out of 10, with each nominee receiving a potential overall total of 50.

EMpower Future Leader nominees will only answer questions 1-3 and will be scored out of 40.

*for the purposes of this list we are referring to visible ethnic minorities.

**Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. These countries are highly ranked in the OECD Better Life Index, which brings together measures of economic performance, and social progress, and well-being.