Fostering diverse leadership in UK politics with our leadership programme

The participants to the 2022 Pathway to Success programme in a group photo on the Blavatnik School's terrace

The 2022 Pathway to Success class on the Blavatnik School terrace.

In the same week as a new UK Prime Minister was being announced, 30 future leaders from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities across the UK gathered in Oxford for the Pathway to Success Leadership and Development programme.

Now in its fourth year, the programme is a ground-breaking initiative designed to equip Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals with the tools and knowledge required to become senior leaders in the public, the private and the commercial world.

The programme is run by Operation Black Vote (OBV) in collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School and Magdalen College, the House of Commons and Lloyds Banking Group. It aims to send out the message that diverse leadership is essential in politics, business and civil society, and for a thriving parliamentary democracy.

The programme received more than 200 applications for just 30 places. Participants were selected based on their proven leadership skills and will undertake masterclasses in politics, governance, community, business, commercial and civic environments to build their know-how in running for political office and further develop their senior leadership abilities.

Participants will spend a week in Oxford attending a series of interactive sessions, discussions and group activities devised to build an in-depth understanding of major political, civic and business ideas. There will also be the chance to hear from a House of Commons clerk, academics including the Blavatnik School’s Chris Stone, key political figures and business leaders.

Here is what some of Pathway to Success's previous participants say:

Frank Starling, global VP of WERKIN a London based tech company, who was appointed a London Enterprise Advisor to the Mayor of London, said: “Pathway to Success is a career changing opportunity geared at levelling the playing field and accelerating Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic leaders forward. Being a participant of the programme has helped me to access knowledge, networks and tools that have aided me to reach the next level.”

Sonika Nirwal stepped up, applied and was appointed to a senior leadership position in her organisation, said: “I took part in the Pathway programme as I felt like a part of me had given up on my future and that my career had stalled. For me the Pathway programme was like a reawakening. I met people who every day were changing the world around them. Coming on the programme has completely changed my outlook and I now believe in myself again. Three months after attending the week in Oxford I found myself thinking about applying for an internal promotion within my organisation. Through the programme I received support in preparing for the assessment process. In the end I was successful and am now looking at my career in a totally different manner. I have made some friends for life on this programme, whilst accessing some of the finest minds in the country. I would highly recommend the programme.”

Please visit the Pathway to Success page on our website or Operation Black Vote for more information.