FTSE 100 hits 2021 target
The Parker Review target for the FTSE 100 to have at least one board director from an ethnically diverse background by the end of 2021 has largely been achieved.
The latest update from the Review has confirmed 89 FTSE 100 companies achieved the target by the deadline of December 2021. A further five have announced new ethnic director appointments in early 2022 and another three report they are actively engaging in recruitment.
Across the FTSE 100, 16% of board directors are now ethnically diverse, and 49% are women.
The Review states: “These numbers compare starkly and very favourably with the position back in 2016, when only 47% of FTSE 100 companies had people from minority ethnic groups in their boardrooms. The number of companies with minority ethnic directors has doubled.
“We are also encouraged to note that the number of people from minority ethnic groups on FTSE 100 Boards splits evenly between genders, with women comprising 49% of the minority ethnic directors.”
Across the FTSE 250, where the deadline is the end of 2024, 12% of board directors are now from ethnically diverse backgrounds and 44% are women.
At the executive level, there hasn’t been as much progress. The Review states: “As expected, the great majority of these board positions are as non-executive directors.”
There are also only six CEOs and 12 other executive directors across the FTSE 100 who come from a minority ethnic group. And there are only three board chairs from a minority ethnic group background.
At the launch of the Review’s latest update, Secretary of State for BEIS Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Never has there been a more compelling evidence base for the value of building diversity into business, all the way up to the Boardroom.
“Never has it been more clear that British business is seizing the initiative, responsive to the fact that drawing in talent across the diversity of society drives increased value to companies and makes good business sense.
“Business and Government are united in our shared belief in equality of opportunity to deliver a business environment that rewards meritocratic achievement: discovering, developing, and rewarding talent — irrespective of background.
“Out of uniting around the common goal of excellence, I have every faith that British business and the UK economy will build back better out of this pandemic.”
The update comes just two weeks after the 30% Club UK Investor Group issued a statement addressing the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in UK business and outlined the action it is taking to make positive change.
Members of the group who have signed up to the statement have more than £11 trillion assets under management.
In February, the group sent letters to the FTSE 100 companies its independent research suggested had yet to meet the Parker Review targets.
The letter warned the companies that investors may consider voting against companies at their annual general meetings if they fail to take action.
If your company wants to take action to make its senior leadership team more diverse, we have teamed up with Change the Race Ratio and Moving Ahead to deliver the Leaders for Race Equity CEO development programme.
The nine-month cross-company programme for CEOs and minority ethnic group leaders who are in the Exco talent pipeline to share and learn from each other’s experiences and shape strategic action. To find out more, please contact our delivery partners Moving Ahead by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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