BAME representation continues to remain low in largest UK companies

BAME representation continues to remain low in largest UK companies

Green Park, a firm accredited under the Enhanced Voluntary Code of Conduct for executive search firms to promote gender diversity, released its annual Leadership 10,000 report (the report) on 4 December 2019. This reviews the gender and ethnocultural diversity of FTSE 100 leadership at 3 levels:

  • the top 3 (Chair, CEO and CFO roles),
  • the top 20 (the board, including chair, CEO, CFO and the executive committee), and
  • the top 100 (senior leaders who report to the top 20)

In line with the recently published penultimate Hampton Alexander Review, the report notes progress has been made in terms of gender diversity and firms are close to reaching the 2020 target for 33% female board representation.  Contrastingly, whilst ‘women are cracking the glass ceiling’, the report shows little progress regarding ethnic diversity as ‘people of colour remain super-glued to the corporate floor’.  

Key findings of the report include:

At top 3 level

  • female representation has increased 1% to 8.6% since 2018, double the 2014 figure of 4.2%
  • BAME representation has remained at 3.3% since 2018, a slight decrease from 2014 (3.5%)
  • there has only been both gender and ethnic diversity progress for the CFO role in 2019, with CEO and chair representation either remaining stagnant or showing a decrease on the year

At top 20 level

  • female representation has seen a slight increase from 2018 (up to 28.8%)
  • BAME representation has dropped from 8.8% in 2018, to 7.4% in 2019 (this reduction was most notably seen amongst black and Muslim ethnocultural groups)

At top 100 level

  • there has been little change since 2018 in the pipeline for both female and BAME employees
  • white females are more likely to hold a top 100 place, representing 25.5% of current positions, compared to BAME counterparts, with male and females jointly representing only 10.7%
  • 7/15 sectors have shown a decrease in black staff at this level than in 2018

Market Tracker notes that there has been more discussion around ethnicity, with 77% of FTSE 350 companies making ethnic disclosures at board level, up from 36% in the 2018 AGM season.  However, in line with Green Park’s findings, there appears to be little progress in translating these discussions into actual results, with only 5% of the FTSE 350 announcing that they had at least one director of colour on the board (being the 2021 target under the Parker Review).  For more information on diversity in the FTSE 350, see our recently published 2019 AGM season trend report.



Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
About the author:

Market Tracker is a unique service for corporate lawyers housed within Lexis®PSL Corporate. It features a powerful transaction data analysis tool for accessing, analysing and comparing the specific features of corporate transactions, with a comprehensive and searchable library of deal documentation across 14 different deal types. The Market Tracker product also includes news and analysis of key corporate deals and activity and in-depth analysis of recent trends in corporate transactions.