While the UK is one of the most diverse countries in the world, this diversity is not reflected in Britain’s offices of power. According to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 33 per cent of MPs went to private school, compared with 7 per cent of the public as a whole. Five per cent of MPs are from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background, compared with 14 per cent of the population. Less than one in four (23 per cent) MPs are women, and women hold just 13 per cent of FTSE 100 boardroom positions.
UpRising – a youth leadership organisation that aims to open up these top offices for young people from backgrounds that are under-represented in positions of power – wants to change this. Its ‘theory of change’ focuses on developing four key ingredients for success: knowledge, networks, skills, and confidence.
Demos is undertaking a year-long evaluation of UpRising’s programmes with the final report due to be published in summer 2015. This interim report presents a first look at the medium to long-term impact of the Leadership Programme. The report findings are based on a survey of UpRising alumni, focus groups and interviews with 15 people from diverse backgrounds who are currently in positions of power.