Michaela Coel and Marcus Rashford named among most powerful black Britons

The annual Powerlist also includes businesswoman, Jacky Wright, and actor, Daniel Kaluuya

Laura Hampson
Friday 15 October 2021 15:13
Comments

The top 100 most powerful black Britons have been announced - and businesswoman Jacky Wright tops the list.

Wright, who is the corporate vice-president and chief digital officer at Microsoft US, has been named as the UK’s most influential black person after topping the Powerlist 2022.

The Powerlist annually names the most powerful people of African, African American and African-Caribbean heritage in Britain.

“I am proud to be in the company of these great leaders of African and African-Caribbean heritage, but I am reminded that we still have a very long way to go,” Wright said in a statement.

“Each of us has a responsibility to ensure that we not only showcase role models, so future generations can envision who and what they can be but, more importantly, we need to make monumental shifts to create a more equitable society.”

Footballer Marcus Rashford took the second spot on the list after the Manchester United player ran a successful campaign combatting childhood poverty in the UK.

Completing the top five were Anne Mensah, vice-president of content UK at Netflix, in third; Oscar-winning actor Daniel Kaluuya in fourth and Professor Kevin Fenton, London’s regional director for Public Health England in fifth.

Founder of Social Chain and youngest-ever “Dragon’s Den” panelist, Steven Bartlett also features in the top 10, alongside “I May Destroy You” actress and creator, Michaela Coel; co-founder and director of Operation Black Vote, Lord Simon Woolley; Richard Iferenta who is a partner at KPMG and human rights lawyer Jacqueline McKenzie, who specialises in migration, asylum and refugee law.

British activist, Patrick Vernon, also made the top 100. He told The Independent: “It is a great honour to be recognised again in the 2022 Powerlist for my work as a campaigner and cultural historian.

“Congratulations to the 100 listed, a number of whom I have worked with in fighting for social justice for the black community in Britain. Thanks to the Powerful Media team and people who believe and support my work.”

President of The Law Society, Stephanie Boyce, was also featured on the list - something she said she was “delighted and humbled” by.

“Diversity and inclusion is high on my list of presidential priorities and I have personally seen what a difference a visible role model can make and the confidence it can give others,” Boyce added.

“The Law Society has been listening to and learning from our black colleagues. In 2020, we published our Race for Inclusion report, which found that while 17.5 per cent of the profession identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic, that’s true of only 8 per cent of partners in the largest firms. This was based on data from 2019-20.

“We must show that people from all walks of life and backgrounds can make valuable contributions and achieve success in our profession.”

The list, which was launched in 2007 to showcase black role models across various industries, was this year selected by a panel of judges led by retired high court judge, Dame Linda Dobbs.

The Powerlist 2022 Top 10

  1. Jacky Wright, corporate vice-president and chief digital officer at Microsoft US
  2. Marcus Rashford, Manchester United footballer and campaigner
  3. Anne Mensah, vice-president of content UK at Netflix
  4. Daniel Kaluuya, Oscar-winning actor
  5. Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director at Public Health England
  6. Steven Bartlett, founder of Social Chain, panelist on Dragon’s Den
  7. Michaela Coel, actor and creator of I May Destroy You
  8. Lord Simon Woolley, co-founder and director of Operation Black Vote
  9. Richard Iferenta, partner at KPMG
  10. Jacqueline McKenzie, human rights lawyer and partner at Leigh Day Solicitors

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in