Diverse Leaders Network is a social enterprise founded by two secondary school teachers, Gloria Ogunyemi and Katrina Thompson. They share:

Countless discussions with our students showed they lacked awareness of routes to leadership and their career aspirations did not go beyond the boundaries of their personal, often limited, networks. More alarming than this, was the realisation that students believed their gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background was a barrier to their career and leadership desires. Sadly, statistics and research confirmed rather than dispelled these concerns.

Being female, from an ethnic minority background and having been schooled in socio-economically deprived areas, we understand first-hand some of the misconceptions and challenges students face around leadership. Also, we have personally experienced the benefits of learning leadership principles and having access to successful people who were just like us. Now with over 20 years combined experience working in education, we are committed to addressing diversity in leadership through the early teaching of Leadership Education, which has been proven to increase attainment, aspirations and the character traits needed for academic and professional success.

The Future is Leadership

Why Leadership Matters

It is predicted that in the next two decades, managerial and professional careers will account for 46% of all jobs worldwide and approximately 83% of all new jobs in the UK, making leadership one of the skills that will be in high demand. As a result, low-skilled jobs will become obsolete affecting mainly the working age population from BAME and low socio-economic backgrounds, who currently are the largest groups to occupy these roles.

As the top professions tend to have the highest earnings, job security and better longer-term income prospects, it is essential that all young people are equipped with the skills needed to remain competitive in the workplace and have access to these jobs.

Leadership taught by diverse professional leaders who lead on a daily basis will not only raise aspirations and confidence but also remove barriers to learning and employment, giving young people a chance to access these managerial and professional jobs in the future.

Leadership for all

 Why Representation Matters

Just 7% of the UK population attend private school, yet 71% of senior judges, 50% of members of the House of Lords and 43% of newspaper columnists went to an independent school. Whilst BAMEs make up 12% of the working age population, only 4% of current FTSE 100 Directors, 4% of MPs in England and 2% of Headteachers, are from a BAME background. Similarly, women are also underrepresented in senior positions of leadership with just 9% of FTSE 100 Executive Directors being female.

In the UK today, there is an entrenched link between a young person’s background and their ability to the reach their full academic, career and leadership potential. Individuals from BAME and low socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to be unemployed, in low-skilled work or remain in entry-level positions. Women are more likely to go into stereotypical professions, get paid less than their male counterparts and choose flexible working hours, which wrongly affect their chances of progressing into leadership.

This level of disadvantage leaves women and individuals from BAME and low socio-economic backgrounds locked into a perpetual cycle of underrepresentation. In recent years, interventions to tackle this issue start far too late as stereotypes about gender, ethnicity and class begin to form in children as young as 7. Placing diverse, relatable and inspiring leaders into schools will ensure all young people get an opportunity to lead and use their knowledge, skills and networks to change the leadership landscape in the future.

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.

John Buchan

Ways to get involved

 We value partnerships

Become A School Partner

Sign up to our LEAD Essential package to kick start effective leadership development in your school. For more targeted and intense leadership development, you can also select programmes from our additional services. Subscribe today and give your students the best start possible to achieve future success.

Become A Corporate Partner

Do you work for a corporate organisation that has an interest in increasing their corporate social responsibility or creating stronger links with the local community? There are many ways to support us. You could fund our work, provide work experience or insight days or get your staff to volunteer as Inspiring Leaders. Make an enquiry now! It only takes 60 seconds.

Become An Inspiring Leader

Are you an inspirational leader looking for an opportunity to further develop your skills whilst developing the next generation of leaders? We are always looking for passionate, authentic and empowering leaders to share their knowledge with the leaders of the future. Sign up now! It only takes 60 seconds.

Join The Movement

Why not join our social movement by following us on social media. We can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Also, be part of the conversation by using the hashtag #DLNLeadershipForAll. Together we can end leadership inequality.

Manger House, 62A Highgate High Street, London, N6 5HX

Tel: 020 3633 2298