Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched a campaign to increase the number of ethnic minorities at the top of British FTSE companies.
On the eve of launching the British Black Business awards in East London, Cable revealed he is in discussions with Lenny Henry and former Chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips about starting a new business-led campaign.
“Ethnic minorities are seriously under-represented with just one in sixteen senior management jobs occupied by ethnic minorities,” Cable said. ” Real progress has been made given that the number of women on FTSE 100 boards now stands at 22% and I now want to deliver the same message on ethnic minority representation.
“A campaign will emphasise that improving diversity is good for business, not just for political correctness”.
Currently one in 10 employed people are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) – yet only 1 in 16 of top management positions are held by BAME people.
In 2010, Cable launched a Business Mentoring project which has attracted 15,000 mentors, 11% of which are from BAME groups. He also pioneered the Start Up loans initiative in 2012. In the past 12 months a third of all new businesses set-up through the initiative have been by BAME entrepreneurs.