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Leaders Like You

Executive summary

This report is a summary of a nine-month research programme commissioned by the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Leadership Commission on promoting leadership diversity in the area covered by the WMCA. This work is a first amongst combined authorities and its central message – that there is now an economic and business imperative for greater leadership diversity and inclusivity in addition to the clear social imperative - needs to be taken up across the whole country, not only through the WMCA area.

The diversity and young age profile of the WMCA area is a huge asset and yet there is a significant leadership diversity gap. This matters as research suggests that greater leadership diversity leads to greater prosperity and reduced marginalisation and disaffection amongst excluded groups.

The research, undertaken by local universities and coordinated by the University of Birmingham, aimed to: better understand current representation of key groups in leadership positions; identify barriers and good practice in overcoming these barriers; and lay the basis for a strategy and action plan to promote inclusive leadership which would be monitored and evaluated.