The Parker Review Committee publishes an updated report on the ethnic diversity of UK boards

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21 Mar 2022

The Parker Review Committee has published an updated report on the ethnic diversity of UK boards.

Five years ago, the first Parker Review set its key target that each FTSE 100 Board should have at least one director from a minority ethnic group by the end of 2021. Five years on this update report from the Parker Review states that this target has nearly been met with 89 of the FTSE 100 companies meeting it at the end of 2021. With an additional five appointments announced since then, it is expected that 94% of FTSE 100 companies will be complying with the target by May 2022. The Report goes on to note that, as expected, the great majority of these Board positions are as Non-Executive Directors. Only six CEOs and 12 other executive directors across the FTSE 100 come from a minority ethnic group. There are even fewer Chairs from a minority ethnic group background, with just three in the FTSE 100.

In the FTSE 250 companies, the target was for them to have a person from a minority ethnic group on their Boards by December 2024. With these companies, there has been some progress, particularly in the last two years with 55% now meeting the target compared to a small percentage in 2016. As with the FTSE 100, the large majority of directors from minority ethnic groups in the FTSE 250 are NEDs. However, there are 13 CEOs and five Chairs from minority ethnic groups.

Next steps for the Parker Review objectives

  1. Assisting FTSE 100 companies to maintain at least their current level of Board-level ethnic diversity and assisting and encouraging FTSE 250 companies to reach the same level by having at least one director from a minority ethnic group by December 2024;
  2. Acting as a focal point for those looking for, or offering, support and guidance - the Report includes material which it is hoped will be useful for companies seeking to widen talent pipelines and plan for succession; and
  3. Continuing to collect data from FTSE 350 companies annually and to present it in a clear, consistent way for the benefit of the business community and investors. The Report encourages companies who are monitoring the percentage of minority ethnic employees within their Executive Committees, and at ‘Ex Co minus one’ and ‘Ex Co minus two’ levels to make this data available publicly in their reports.

Each of these steps is set within the overarching ambition for the Review to continue to encourage companies to make sure that every employee — from the bottom of the organisation to the top — has an equal chance to meet their potential, irrespective of their ethnic background.

The full report is available here.

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