By Matti Siemiatycki, Associate Professor, University of Toronto
There is a significant diversity gap amongst the top leaders in the PPP industry. Recently, there has been considerable attention on the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions, and for good reason. In North America, women make up only around one in five of the top senior executives and board members of the largest firms and most significant PPP agencies.
At the same time, it is important to recognize that the diversity gap in the infrastructure sector is even greater for racial minorities. My recent research examines diversity in the leadership of over 250 PPP firms and government agencies from the names and pictures posted on their website. The research reveals that in North America, 8% of the top PPP industry managers (ie. C-Suite, vice presidents, managing directors, etc.) and board members are non-white, compared with 23% of the general population in the United States and 19% of the Canadian population. The racial diversity gap in the infrastructure sector is even starker given that many of the top executives in the PPP industry work in large cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Toronto, and Vancouver where visible minorities make up a far higher share of the population than at the national level.