Pathway to Success: admissions open for second year to support diversity in UK politics

2019 Pathway to Success participants

The participants to the 2019 Pathway to Success leadership programme.

The Pathway to Success leadership programme is open for admissions for 2020. The initiative, now in its second year, seeks to equip thirty talented BAME (Black, Asian and Minority-Ethnic) individuals in the UK with the tools and knowledge required to step up to senior leadership positions.

Pathway to Success is run in partnership with the University of Oxford’s Magdalen College and Blavatnik School of Government, the House of Commons, Lloyds Banking Group and Operation Black Vote.

If the current situation permits, participants will stay in Magdalen College, Oxford between 6 – 11 September 2020 for a 5-day residential programme.

Professor Chris Stone, academic director for the course, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of how high the stakes have become for BAME communities in every public policy decision, from access to healthcare to employment to housing. The Blavatnik School of Government is a full partner in Pathway to Success because these policy decisions must be taken by leaders both grounded in the issues and grounded in these communities."

Participants are selected based on their proven leadership skills and will undertake a week of intensive coaching and master classes to build their confidence, know-how and familiarity with senior leadership settings around politics, governance, community, business and civic environments. After the course, participants will be matched with mentors from Magdalen College alumni – in 2019 they included William Hague, Michael Jay, Dido Harding and Stewart Wood.

Lord Simon Woolley, Operation Black Vote director, said:

“We are excited to be embarking on year two of this very special leadership programme with our fantastic partners and led by first class speakers and world leading experts. The programme is an opportunity to identify and carve out the BME leaders of the future. If you have the ambition and passion to lead at the very top – this programme was made for you.”

The closing date for applications is Sunday 7 June. To apply please visit Operation Black Vote’s website. 

Here's what some past participants said:

Deputy Mayor of Hertsmere Council Cllr Cynthia Barker said:

"I believe that everyone has leadership qualities, but to ensure that this is recognised and enhanced, you need to develop your skills in order to become a good leader. The leadership training through Operation Black Vote and Pathway partners was the best route for me, giving me an opportunity to reflect and learn the different styles of leadership. The most important thing is to be able to engage and influence others."

Cllr Mete Coban, Hackney Council and CEO of My Life My Say a youth-led charity said:

"The Pathway to Success Leadership Programme with OBV, Oxford University and the House of Commons propelled my career in ways I could never have imagined. The level of exposure and skills it equipped me with created opportunities and developed connections that continue to fuel my professional growth and drive. Subsequent to the programme I was headhunted to a position on the Board of Directors for the Global Fund for Children. It’s an honour and privilege to represent my community as an alumnus of this programme."