Top UK firms to have at least one BAME director on board by 2021

The UK’s top firms should have at least one board level director of an ethnic minority within the next four years, a new government-backed report has recommended.

In November 2016, Sir John Parker, chairman of the mining company Anglo American, was charged with launching a review into the ethnic diversity of UK boards.

Based on evidence Parker’s review team collated from a range of stakeholders, including board members and other senior executives, executive search companies and representatives from government, Parker recommends in his final report that UK boards:

  • Increase the ethnic diversity of UK boards by proposing each FTSE 100 board to have at least one director from an ethnic minority background by 2021 and for each FTSE 250 board to do the same by 2024
  • Develop a pipeline of candidates and plan for succession through mentoring and sponsoring
  • Enhance transparency and disclosure to record and track progress against the objectives.

The review’s steering committee will continue to track progress made against recommendations annually.

The report also reveals as of the end of July 2017, only 85 of the 1,050 director positions in the FTSE 100 are held by people from ethnic minorities. Just 2% of director positions are held by people from ethnic minorities who are UK citizens, despite this group making up 14% of the total UK population (up from 2% in 1971). More than half – 51 FTSE 100 companies – do not have a single ethnic minority person on their boards at all.

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