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White leadership on Board rises, says research

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A groundbreaking study by Green Park of the top 10,000 executives in Britain’s most important firms reveals a deep “diversity deficit” that could put UK companies at a serious disadvantage in both domestic and global markets….reports Asian Lite.

 

businessIt is reported that the number of board members from ethnic minorities is falling despite a drive to promote diversity at the top.

Green Park study shows the number of FTSE 100 executive directors from ethnic backgrounds has fallen by 23% over the year. All-white leadership boards (executive and operating directors) have risen from 63 to 70. The research also shows that whilst some sectors of the economy are more gender and ethno-culturally diverse than others, the glass ceiling remains completely intact in all types of business.

The study, commissioned by the executive recruitment consultancy Green Park, is co-authored by the former equalities commission chair, Trevor Phillips, and Professor Richard Webber, of Kings College London, the lead developer of the world’s most widely used consumer classification system, Mosaic.

Findings based on the study reveal that among chairmen, chief executives and chief financial officers, the number of people from ethnic minorities has gone from 12 to 8, with chief executives down from 6 to 4. On main boards, ethnic members are nearly three times more likely to be non-executives than executive directors.

Last December a taskforce was formed under the guidance of the then business secretary Vince Cable, who announced a target to end all-white boards at the biggest companies by 2020. He enlisted the support of the comedian Sir Lenny Henry and Trevor Phillips, who chaired the equality and human rights commission and now chairs the executive search firm Green Park, which compiled the new research, reports The Sunday Times.

Cable had appointed Sir John Parker, chairman of the mining group Anglo American, to lead the campaign.

Green Park’s numbers also showed a rise in the number of women on FTSE 100 boards. Since last year, the percentage of females holding executive directorships has risen to 12.6%, from 9.6%, and female non-executive directors now account for 27.9% of members, up from 23.9%.

The Green Park Leadership 10,000 uses a unique software programme to analyse the backgrounds of Britain’s most influential business executives. For the first time it offers a picture that includes both the gender and ethno-cultural composition of Britain’s business leaders; and it compares the diversity deficits in fifteen different business sectors. Uniquely, the study reaches below the board and top executive level to assess the state of the “talent pipeline”.

Raj Tulsiani, CEO of Green Park Group, said: “As companies seek to compete in a global environment and better reflect and understand their customer base, comprehensive information about how their leadership team deliver on their commitments compared to others in their sector will deliver a diversity dividend as outlined in our recent 10 minute guide to diversity for busy executives.