51% of retailers have no ethnic representation in boardrooms

51% of retailers have no ethnic representation in boardrooms
The lack of diversity in retail leadership has been laid bare in new research from Korn Ferry.
// Of the 31 listed UK retail companies, 16 do not have ethnic minority representation on their boards, according to Korn Ferry
// A third of the 31 listed retailers have less than 25 per cent female representation on their boards.
// Meanwhile, only 8.4% of CEOs were either from an ethnic minority background or female

New research has found that just over half of retailers listed on the FTSE and AIM have no ethnic minority representation in their boardrooms.

According to new data from recruitment firm Korn Ferry, of the 31 listed UK retail companies, 16 do not have ethnic minority representation on their boards.

It also found that about a third of the 31 listed retailers have less than 25 per cent female representation on their boards.


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When looking at wider list of 144 listed companies that encompass retail, FMCG and hospitality, Korn Ferry found that only 8.4 per cent of chief executives were either from an ethnic minority background or female.

Of these CEOs, seven are women and 11 are from an ethnic minority background – with the latter all being men.

Meanwhile, of the 1103 board directors on these 144 listed companies, Korn Ferry found that 11.6 per cent of those on the FTSE 100, 5.6 per cent on the FTSE 250 and 6.7 per cent on AIM were ethnic minority board directors.

In terms of female representation in the board rooms for these 144 listed firms, it was 35 per cent of those on the FTSE 100, 32.5 per cent on the FTSE 250, and 16.9 per cent on AIM.

“The key to increasing female and ethnic representation in chair and CEO roles and on boards more widely is to recognise the issue and move it up the priority list on the board agenda,” Korn Ferry managing director and retail lead Sarah Lim said.

“The lack of diversity in these positions must be actively addressed in both succession planning and longer-term talent pipelining at all levels of the organisation.

“This applies across the spectrum of both large and small-cap companies.

“Diversity requires advocacy from the top. It’s proven that organisations with more diverse leadership perform at a higher level, and given the millions of people that the retail, hospitality and consumer goods industries employ, leaders have to be more reflective of the customer base and the communities they serve.”

Korn Ferry also found that consumer companies listed on the FTSE 100 have no ethnic minority chairs on the board and just one chairwoman.

FTSE 250 consumer companies have no ethnic minority chairs on the board and three female chairs.

Meanwhile consumer companies on AIM were found to have five female chairs, four ethnic minority male chairs and one ethnic minority female chair.

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1 COMMENT

  1. This is surely immaterial?As long as the people are able enough why does it matter what colour they are?This is just reverse racism.

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