Ethnic diversity edges up 5% in the boardroom

// Boardroom diversity rose marginally by 5% in 2019
// Green Park Leadership’s 10,000 report found that 47 FTSE 100 companies have no ethnic minority representation in the boardroom

Some of the UK’s biggest retailers have seen ethnic diversity increase in the boardroom, according to new research.

The number of BAME directors and non-executive directors on FTSE 100 retail boards has increased by five per cent in 2019, up from 3.1 per cent the previous year – an increase of just 4.3 per cent since 2014.

According to the annual Green Park Leadership 10,000 report, 47 of the FTSE 100 companies have no ethnic minority representation at board or executive director level.

READ MORE: 69% of UK’s retail board members white & male, new research finds

The report found that only 10 chairs, chief executive and finance chiefs are from a BAME background across the group overall, comprising just 3.3 per cent of the total and showing no improvement in six years.

BAME representation in the leadership pipeline for FTSE 100 retailers also edged up just 0.4 per cent year on year to 7.8 per cent, which Green Park said raised “significant concerns about the prospects for any future improvement at board and executive committee level”.

“Our latest analysis shows that after five years of monitoring, the promise that things would change over time for ethnic minority leaders at FTSE 100 retailers just as empty as the corporate pipeline,” Green Park chair Trevor Phillips said.

“Women are cracking the glass ceiling, but people of colour remain super-glued to the corporate floor.”

Green Park chief executive Raj Tulsiani said: “The increasingly patchy progress in the retail sector may be a sign that some companies find it hard to focus on diversity in the true sense of the word, opting for concerted effort in the areas of gender or race but struggling to consistently address both.”

“If British business is serious about presenting a modern face to the world it needs to properly invest in diversity and inclusivity leadership, and give those leaders the resources to match.”

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