John Lewis chair Sharon White is 'most influential black Briton'
Dame Sharon White, the first ever female chair of the retail group John Lewis Partnership, has been named the UK’s most influential black person.
White has topped the 2023 Powerlist, an annual list that aims to provide professional role models for young people of African and African Caribbean heritage. British Vogue editor Edward Enninful and model Munroe Bergdorf were also named on this year’s list that included rapper Stormzy, actors Idris Elba and Lenny Henry, and Premiership footballers Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling.
White also made history in her previous post as chief executive of Ofcom, when she became the first woman and black person to lead the media regulator. She has also held a high-ranking government post as second permanent secretary to the Treasury, responsible for overseeing spending cuts.
White called the latest accolade an “incredible honour… My hope is that we can take the serendipity out of social mobility – everyone should have the chance to be who they want to be in life, with their background as a source of pride, not a disadvantage,” she said.
Michael Eboda, chief executive of Powerful Media, the organisation that published this year’s list, said: “Dame Sharon White totally deserves to be recognised as the UK’s most powerful black Briton on the Powerlist 2023. She is an example of true excellence and this is evident throughout her valuable input and work as chair of John Lewis and her academic and professional journey to date.”
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