More ethnic minority chief executives at top UK firms

A review of the largest companies shows there are now 12 ethnic minority CEOs at FTSE 100 firms.
More ethnic minority chief executives at top UK firms
Business boardroom with diverse range of peopleGetty Images

Boardrooms are becoming more ethnically diverse but more still needs to be done, according to a review of the UK’s largest 350 businesses.

The Parker Review said there were now 12 ethnic minority chief executives in the FTSE 100, up from seven in 2022.

But overall only 13% of senior management at the top 100 firms were ethnically diverse.

In the 2021 census 18% of people identified as being from a non-white ethnic group.

Originally commissioned by the government in 2015, the first Parker Review found the proportion of ethnically diverse personnel in UK boardrooms to be “disproportionately low”.

This latest 2023 review has found considerable change within the top 350 companies.

It said that within the FTSE 100 – the UK’s biggest firms – people with ethnic minority backgrounds now hold 19% of all director positions, a rise of one percentage point from last year.

The data also showed an increase in the number of companies with more than one ethnic minority director from 49 in 2022 to 56 in 2023.

It also found 96 of the largest firms met the target of having at least one minority ethnic director on their boards, in line with last year.

The Parker Review said of the remaining FTSE 250 companies, 175 had ethnic representation on their boards, compared to 148 companies in December 2022. They were “making progress” it said.

Setting new targets

The review said as many as 48 of the top firms set an average 17% target for ethnic minority representation within their senior management by December 2027, a four percentage point rise from current levels.

However, the range of targets was broad – from 5% to 45% – influenced by the wide variation in the share of ethnic minorities in the wider population within the UK and internationally, the review said.

Hywel Ball, UK chair of accountancy firm EY – which helped carry out the review with the Department of Business and Trade – said while business leaders were having to grapple with “geopolitical fragility and political uncertainty” it was important “not to lose sight of longer-term priorities”.

“While this year’s Parker Review shows that progress is being made to increase the representation of ethnic minority talent, there’s still more to do,” he said.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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