Trevor Phillips OBE

Trevor Phillips OBE

President, John Lewis Partnership Council

Synopsis

Before taking up the JLP role, Trevor served as Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He is also an acclaimed documentary-maker and expert in data analytics. Trevor explains how consumers’ trust in John Lewis stems from its democracy, giving every partner a stake, a degree of autonomy and a chance to air their views: “Big businesses may not be able to duplicate the model (unless they’re privatisations or start-ups), but there’s much they can borrow.”

Biography

Trevor Phillips is perhaps best known as the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), and formerly the head of the Commission for Racial Equality, having previously worked as a factual TV producer and presenter. He now serves as President of John Lewis Partnership Council.

A student activist in his home city of London, Trevor became the first black president of the National Union of Students. He then went to work in LWT’s current affairs department where be became a producer and presenter. He was a reporter on This Week and rose to become LWT’s head of current affairs.

Trevor served as chair of the Runnymede Trust, a think-tank promoting ethnic equality, as well as on the boards of a number of charities and commissions. He was a Greater London Assembly member before leaving to join the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). When the CRE was dissolved, Trevor headed its broader successor the EHRC. A defiant campaigner for equality and human rights, he led the organisation through a politically and publicly sensitive period.

Shortly after completing his second term at the head of the Commission, Trevor was appointed President of John Lewis Partnership Council. The Council is the elected body representing all John Lewis employees in its famous partnership structure whereby all staff have a stake in the flagship retailer’s business.

Trevor has co-founded a consultancy working with business and not-for-profit leaders who want to serve citizens, consumers and colleagues better. He has also returned to broadcasting, fronting programmes on race and society. He remains an occasionally controversial commentator on diversity and immigration, and has written books on the Windrush generation and Britain’s slave trade.

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