Black executives: The hard numbers

Back in October I expressed disappointment at the poor statistical analysis of the decline in the ratio of Black executives in the workforce.  Subsequently, I’ve done some digging and discovered that the Commission for Unity and Racial Equity produced the comprehensive, non-spin based, numbers I was looking for.

As part of the Annual Review of the Workforce Survey Report 2006, here is the depiction of the Level of Employment by race for 2006.

As quoted by Community and Cultural Affairs Minister Wayne Perinchief, the rate of black executives indeed did  decline from 29% in 2005 to 27% in 2006.  In my piece, I questioned whether the hard actual number of black executives increased or decreased.  Studying the actual numbers, the number of black executives overall decreased from 173 in 2005 to 159 in 2006.

However, it is interesting to note that in 2004, the percentage of black executives was 27%, some 154, which suggests that if you compare 2004 to 2006, the percentage was the same and yet there was an increase of 5 black executives.

Interesting.  Lets dig a little bit further back as data was collected in 2003 and 2002 wasn’t it?  Well, in 2003, the percentage of black executives in the workforce was 21%, however, the number of black executives was 203.    In 2002?  The percentage of black executives in the workforce was 22% with the overall number being at 217.

So, we’ve had over the years a gradual decrease in the number of executives overall, black executives included, however, the percentage of black executives has been generally trending upwards indicating that despite the wild claims of some, international business may well be doing it’s part in promoting blacks in the workforce.  Though, of course, all we really care to focus on is the one year drop from 29% to 27% in 2006 rather than focusing on the data that has been available for 5 years, right?

Now, here’s the real kicker.  While digging through the actual hard numbers I discovered that ‘black executives’ isn’t the same as ‘black Bermudian executives’ in CURE’s statistics.  I’ve realised that I was making the incorrect assumption that CURE statistics was dedicated to promoting equality between Bermudians in the workforce.  However, this was not the case as CURE was originally studying race overall including Bermudians and non-Bermudians in their reports. From 2004 on, statistics have been improved to give breakdowns of employment levels by race and Bermudian status, which presents a far different picture.  This leads me to a whole new question, how are non-Bermudian’s being worked into the justification for why workforce equity legislation as it exists in it’s draft form is necessary and should they be non-Bermudians be included when calculating whether black Bermudians have fair representation in our workforce?

More on this with greater investigation of the real hard numbers to come, as time allows.

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8 thoughts on “Black executives: The hard numbers

  1. You have identified a very important distinction – the CURE stats do not address B/W Bermudian and BW non-Bermudian data. Nor does it identify Bermudians who are posted overseas for extended periods. The fluctuations in arrival and departure of work permit holders can significantly skew the statistical interpretations if not taken into account. Stuart Hayward noted that if you exclude PRCs and expatriates from the new job creation statistics, only 10% of new jobs last year went to Bermudians. We need to have good data about how we are doing in promoting and improving the prospects for Bermudians, black and white, before we start attempting to create major policies on the subject. Otherwise we run the risk that companies import black workers from overseas specifically to address their quotas, while nothing happens here to improve the prospects for black Bermudians. All we should care about is the ratios of black/white Bermudians across all categories of jobs – the expatriate worker racial profile is simply distracting to the real issue – development of skills and opportunities for Bermudians to succeed.

  2. Including non-bermudians in these results has one purpose–to skew results to show more whites at all levels, particularly higher levels.
    I’ve been accused of being cynical on other posts, but why else would cure do this? Why discuss black/white comparisons and ignore the mixed/other race components? If I’m wrong and there’s a reasonable explaination I’d love to know it.

  3. Denis,
    This is a question I’ve been asking for years “Is cure only looking at Bermudian numbers or as executives as a whole?”.
    There has to be a very real distinction as the numbers could be drastically different if not seperated. I congradulate you for finding cold hard facts. I’m interested in where you found them.

  4. Full Fullish,
    The stats are available from CURE itself. They’ve released reports both in graphical and tabular form in their Annual Reviews of the Workforce Survey’s. Unfortunately, however, they have yet to put recent copies of the reports online, so you have to go to the CURE office itself to get them.
    Also, CURE originally did not track Bermudians vs. Non-Bermudians however did start tracking these numbers in 2004.
    More articles analysing the stats to come.

  5. Excellent analysis Denis!
    CURE should be doing this type of inquiry and even taking it farther. I would be interested to know what the average age was for each group too! Blacks are represented at higher levels in all categories except executive management.
    If they are, on average, younger across the board or progressively younger the higher up the management chain you go that would be very interesting and would show that progress is taking place more and more as we leave the unfortunate bits of our history behind.
    If that were the case it would mean less effort needs to be spent on resolving institutional racism which isn’t there and more on fixing education.
    I’d be curious too as to the absolute numbers in executive management since a small number would allow for big swings in the percentages.

  6. Didn’t see that you had posted the location…I took a look, but the numbers don’t parse out non-bermudians when examining senior executives nor do they cross reference age. Very unhelpful and unfortunate.

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