UK boards must have one BAME member

The CBI is calling for greater ethnic spread across UK plc boards, launching a new campaign to increase racial and ethnic participation in senior leadership.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, the CBI president, announced the Change the Race Ratio campaign with Aviva, Cranfield University, Deloitte, Linklaters and Microsoft and others supporting the move.

The campaign calls for all businesses to set and publish clear targets for greater racial and ethnic diversity at board and senior leadership levels. The campaign will launch at the end of October.

Based on the Parker Review findings, the targets being set are:
FTSE 100 – At least one racially and ethnically diverse Board member by end 2021
FTSE 250 – At least one racially and ethnically diverse Board member by 2024.

According to the ICSA, the average board size is 11 directors, meaning that if one director on average identified as BAME, it would be 9 per cent of the total. The Parker Review estimates that the current level of BAME participation in FTSE100 companies stands at a higher level of 11.3 per cent where the ethnicity of the persons is known, but both are below the current percentage BAME population in the UK (14 per cent).

With 37 per cent of FTSE 100 companies having no ethnic minority representation, it appears that the greater percentages are also concentrated within companies. Something the CBI would like to see changed.

The Parker Review in detail.

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