Media Coverage 13th August 2021 2 minutes read

Personnel Today | FTSE 100: Proportion of white male leaders is increasing.

Despite genuine efforts in corporate Britain to improve boardroom diversity, the number of white men in ‘top 40’ positions in FTSE 100 companies is increasing.

The Green Park Business Leaders Index 2021 which analyses boardroom diversity in the UK’s top businesses found that while leadership diversity was improving at some levels, women and ethnic minorities were being sidelined into roles that command less influence, have lower salaries and are less likely to be on track to C-Suite roles.

The report revealed that there is only 11 ethnic minority leaders in the FTSE 100 Top C-Suite roles of Chair, CEO and CFO, an increase of one additional ethnic minority leader since 2014, now just 3.5%. And for the first time since Green Park began there their analysis, there are no black Chairs, CEO’s or CFO’s and black representation in Executive Director roles has remained unchanged over eight years at 0.6%.

At Top 40 pipeline level, the report finds that some functions are dominated by one particular gender or ethnicity. Green Park’s research reveals that 85.4% of Diversity & Inclusion leadership roles at FTSE100 companies are held by women. 62.5% of Diversity and Leadership leaders are white women, with ethnic minority females the second most represented group at 22.9%. Ethnic minority males are the least represented in this function at 6.3%. Human Resources is also predominantly a white female enclave at 55%, while white men dominate in Digital, Data and Technology (76%), Governance and Operations (73%) Commercial and procurement (71%) and Finance (69%) – all much more direct routes to the top.

Trevor Phillips, Chair of Green Park comments that:

“We need to make sure that the decision-making that matters is truly diverse. And we’re not anywhere near there right now. Though women and minorities are getting into the room, they don’t have any votes when the decisions are taken.”

Pavita Cooper, deputy chair of the 30% Club, said:

“The index once again demonstrates the urgent need for the private sector to get serious about inclusion. It is simply not right to be marginalising women and racially and ethnically diverse groups – something I have experienced first-hand during my career."

“A lot has been said about the need to build back better. Now’s the time for companies to take action to become truly inclusive. Those that do will reap the benefits – from their customers, their staff and their investors.”

Download the Green Park Business Leaders Index 2021 here.

The above is a summary of an article published in Personnel Today 11/8/21. For the full article, please click here.

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