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Racial inequality continues to rise

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Although more than one in 10 of the British population comes from an ethnic minority group, only one in 15 (6.8%) of ethnic minority staff were in a management position in 2007.

It is estimated by 2015 15.2% of the population will be from an ethnic minority and 11.2% will be managers, according to Business in the Community's Race for Opportunity campaign.

This means the gap of 3.5 percentage points in 2007 will have widened to 4 percentage points in seven years' time. So on current trends, ethnic minorities in management will never be in line with their representation in the overall population.

Of ethnic minority employees in management positions 80%work in just three public-sector groups - public administration, education and health.

Sandra Kerr, national campaign director at Race for Opportunity, said: "Barack Obama won the most high-profile management post in the world with the slogan ‘Yes we can'. Without major and urgent policy intervention and action from businesses, the message to ethnic minorities aspiring to management is ‘No you won't.'"

"The disappointing implication is that there may still be a colour bar to management jobs in the UK 33 years after the passing of the landmark Race Relations Act of 1976."