Impetus Leadership Academy: building diversity in the UK youth sector

LONDON, 6th July 2021:
Youth charity Impetus is inviting applications to its Leadership Academy, a new programme offering development training to emerging leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds working in the UK youth sector.

Across UK charities just 7 per cent* of leadership positions are held by people from ethnic minority backgrounds and urgent action is needed to improve representation at senior levels across the sector.

The new scheme, offered in partnership with Bank of America, is aimed at nurturing the development of future leaders and their organisations, to contribute to the national conversation on issues facing young people from ethnic minority backgrounds, and ultimately improve the effectiveness of the UK youth sector.

Both Impetus and Bank of America have committed to improving representation within their organisations and investing resources to address racial inequality in society more broadly; this initiative builds on their specific expertise in the youth employment sector, where the race equity gap is very clear - young people from minority backgrounds face twice as much unemployment as their White peers.

The Impetus Leadership Academy is a fully funded 12-month programme consisting of group masterclasses on key leadership topics, one-to-one coaching sessions from Impetus experts and personalised mentorship from senior members of Bank of America staff.

Eleanor Harrison, CEO of Impetus said: “The Impetus Leadership Academy is part of our commitment to embedding racial diversity in every aspect of our work, and we are excited to set out on this journey with the support of Bank of America.

“Our programme will offer personalised development training to a cohort of future leaders, supporting a peer network and offering access to extensive networking opportunities through Bank of America and Impetus’ global reach.

“We want to share what we’ve learned about what it takes to build and grow talented leaders and great impact led organisations through this new programme, and learn from the experiences and insights of emerging leaders in return. We are excited about the potential to support diverse talent to access more senior leadership roles in the sector. Improved racial diversity in leadership positions will drive better understanding and decision making in the sector.”

Andrea Sullivan, Head of International Environment, Social and Governance at Bank of America said: “At Bank of America diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our business, which is why we are delighted to partner with Impetus to launch the Leadership Academy. The new initiative promotes diverse talent into senior positions in the UK charity sector, supporting our longstanding commitment to furthering racial equality. We look forward to working together to inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”

Of Impetus’ capacity building support, Kenny Imafidon, Chair of youth employment charity City Gateway said: “Impetus has a wealth of experience to offer upcoming leaders, and we have benefitted from this first hand through our partnership. It’s exciting to see them extend their support beyond their existing portfolio of charities so that more people can benefit from their leadership expertise. This is a step in the right direction for the sector, now we need to see other organisations contributing to solutions through such initiatives.”

Applications for the Impetus Leadership Academy are open 30th July 2021. For more information, eligibility criteria and to apply please visit:


For press and media enquiries about the Impetus Leadership Academy and the Impetus – Bank of America partnership please contact the Impetus press team on

For more information on the programme and how to apply please visit:

Notes for Editors

About the Impetus Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy is a co-funded programme by Impetus and Bank of America. It will provide leadership training and mentorship to 24 participants from ethnically diverse backgrounds over two years, in two cohorts of 12.

The programme and consists of a minimum of six group masterclasses covering key leadership topics, six one-to-one coaching sessions from Impetus experts, personalised mentorship from a senior member of Bank of America staff, as well as networking opportunities and events.

It is aimed at leaders from black or ethnic minority backgrounds who are looking to grow into a more senior leadership role either within their organisation or in a larger organisation. They could be middle managers, senior managers or current CEOs of small charities looking to move to bigger organisations.

About Impetus

Impetus transforms the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the right support to succeed in school, in work and in life.

We find, fund and build the most promising charities working with this group of young people, providing core funding and working shoulder-to-shoulder with their leaders to help them become stronger organisations.

We have over 15 years’ experience building the leadership skills of charity CEOs in Place2Be, Magic Breakfast, and Street League, to name just a few. Our expertise has enabled charities like Resurgo to grow from one small west London project to a charity with eight centres across London and one in Brighton. With Impetus’s help, Resurgo's programme has significantly out-performed benchmark education, employment and training outcomes for every age range and qualification level, when measured at three, six, nine and 12 months after completing.

Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @ImpetusPEF

About Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact.

Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter @BofA_News.


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