5 September 2023
Leaders as Allies Session Takeaways: Driving Actions for Change and Building Greater Accountability for DEI
Green Park’s annual research into the composition of the top 10,000 roles in the FTSE 100 is part of our contribution to enabling greater transparency in the corporate sector. It provides benchmarks showing the current state of diversity on the Boards of the largest companies listed in the UK, but also how it has changed year-on-year.
The report analyses diversity at three key leadership levels, referred to as the Top 3, Top 20 and Top 100. The Top 3 includes Chair, CEO and CFO roles, while the Top 20 consists of Board, including Chair, CEO and CFO plus the Executive Committee. This is further broken down to an analysis of Executive and Non-Executive Director level. The Top 100 level represents the leadership pipeline and therefore analyses senior leaders who report into the Top 20.
For this year’s analysis, in addition to a year-on-year comparison, we have included figures from our first Leadership 10,000 survey in 2014. This enables us to provide a more detailed picture of progress over time and the longer-term performance of particular sectors.
By taking this approach, we can see that the years of campaigning and policies aimed at levelling the playing field for women in the workplace have achieved significant improvements. Across virtually all measures, female leaders are better represented than in 2014.
At current rates, we can expect to see around a third of Board and Executive Committee level posts held by women within the next few years, albeit later than the 2020 target set by the Hampton-Alexander Review. However, on a cautionary note, the apparent slowing of improvement for women since 2018 entering the talent pipeline at Top 100 level should give rise for concern if continued in future years.
For BAME leaders, progress has been slower and more inconsistent. At the very top of the FTSE 100 companies, there has been no improvement since 2014, with representation stuck at around 3%. At wider Board level, progress has been limited at around two percentage points and actually went into reverse over the last 12 months among both NEDs and Executive Directors.
As with female representation, many sectors appear to be struggling to maintain earlier momentum to bring on the next generation of BAME talent at Top 100 level. While the vast majority have improved on 2014 levels, one-third have seen a decline in the last 12 months. When we look at the ethnocultural breakdown at Director level, the recent reductions in representation are confined to black and Muslim groups.