FTSE 100 Boards are to have at least one Director from ethnic minority background by 2021

FTSE 100 Boards are required to have at least one Director from an ethnic minority background by 2021.

The lack of diversity in the UK Boardroom has not gone unnoticed by the Government, the public or business observers. An independent review was commissioned to considers how to improve the ethnic and cultural diversity of UK boards to better reflect their employee base and the communities they serve.

In October 2017, The Parker Review Committee, led by Sir John Parker, published its Final Report into the Ethnic Diversity of UK boards, urging business leaders to improve the ethnic and cultural diversity of UK Boards to better reflect their employee base and the communities they serve.

The report set out objectives and timescales to encourage greater diversity and provided some practical tools to help business leaders to address the issue. 

The Review set out three recommendations as follows:

  • Increase the ethnic diversity of UK Boards with 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 to ensure that there is a pipeline of Board capable candidates, and their managerial and executive ranks appropriately reflect the importance of diversity to their organisation.
  • Enhance transparency and disclosure, including disclosing the company’s efforts to increase, amongst other things, ethnic diversity within its organisation, especially at Board level.

An update report from The Parker Review was published in February 2020 highlighting, amongst other things, ‘slow progress’ in meeting the recommendations.

So why does it matter?

At the heart of the UK’s economic success lies the performance of many great companies, some of them listed in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250. 

For UK Plc to reflect the progress that is being made in diversity, equality and inclusion generally, changes are needed in the Boardrooms, particularly at times like this, where leadership, stewardship and corporate ethics are of utmost importance – it’s crucial to stay within the rules at the best of times, but think of the pressure many organisations are now facing due to the pandemic.

And there’s a financial upside too. McKinsey – a global Management Consultancy firm – in a recent report Diversity wins: How inclusion matters show not only that the business case for diversity and inclusion remains robust, but that the relationship between diversity on executive teams and the likelihood of financial outperformance has strengthened over time.

If you’d like to support 100Projects.Org in building a more diverse and inclusive Britain – from the classroom to the boardroom, please do get in touch.