Ethnic diversity: 2019 update

Ethnic diversity: 2019 update

Following the announcement on 25th September of a new government-backed board comprised of senior industry bosses to promote diversity and inclusion in business, Market Tracker takes a look at developments in relation to the Parker Review and the ethnic composition of FTSE 350 boards.

Almost two years have passed since a review led by Sir John Parker highlighted the lack of importance given to ethnic minorities on the board. Despite UK markets being at the global forefront of international business, his findings indicated that only 2% of all board of directors were UK citizens with an ethnic minority background (despite ethnic minorities making up 14% of the UK population). The Parker Review initiated discussion around the lack of ethnic diversity and encouraged boards to be more representative, by implementing aspirational targets. In line with this, FTSE 100 companies should aim to have at least one ‘director of colour’ by 2021, and FTSE 250 companies should aim to achieve this by 2024. Where this has not been achieved, companies are expected to disclose reasons for non-compliance.

Following the final review of the Parker report in 2017, there has been steady progress regarding ethnic disclosure at board level.  The FRC conducted a review into Board Diversity Reporting and found that a year on, 10% of FTSE 350 companies made some form of reference to the Parker Review in their board diversity policy. Market Tracker has conducted some more recent research and found that for companies with a financial year ending 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019, 28.9% of the FTSE 350 (excluding closed ended investment funds) made a reference to the Parker Review/report. With the impending deadline for FTSE 100 companies, we can expect this figure to continue to increase.

Our research also looked at the depth of ethnic diversity disclosures in annual reports. A detailed disclosure was considered to be one that referenced ethnic d

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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.