Research from Green Park suggests Britain’s leading companies are failing to improve ethnic diversity at their leadership levels. According to the executive recruitment and diversity consultancy, the total number of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) board members has dropped over the past year.
Green Park are now urging FTSE 100 companies to follow their successful US counterparts by properly resourcing change or face commercial risk, regulatory attention and losing key talent to global competitors. This includes all companies appointing a chief diversity officer.
The report reveals continuing progress on gender diversity; however, progress on ethnic diversity is stalling at almost every seniority level, when compared with either 2018’s analysis or Green Park’s first Leadership 10,000 Report in 2014.
At 3.3 per cent, the number of BAME Chairs, CEOs and CFOs (10 individuals) has not improved over the six years monitored. At Top 20 level, BAME directors and non-executive directors in the FTSE 100 has dropped over the past year to 7.4 per cent, down from nearly nine per cent in 2018, with only a marginal increase from 6.2 per cent in 2014.
Meanwhile, BAME representation at Top 100 Level is flat year-on-year, at 10.7 per cent in 2019 compared to 10.6 per cent in 2018, raising significant concerns about the prospects for any future improvement at board and executive committee level.
Forty-seven companies still have no ethnic minority membership at board and executive director level – just 14 less than in 2014. At this rate of change it will take until 2039 before all FTSE 100 boards and executive committees have ethnic minority representation; a far cry from the government backed target set out by Sir John Parker to have no all-white boards by 2021.