Media Coverage 26th September 2019 1 minute read

Retail Gazette: Retail leaders recognised in diversity awards but BAME appointments flatline

The BAME 100 2019 index, published by recruitment and diversity consultancy Green Park, showcases the UK's ethnic minority board-ready talent and highlights three BAME retail leaders from Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Boohoo. 

The index’s aim is to debunk the myth that diverse talent does not exist, showcasing a wealth of suitable, proven candidates who could help organisations meet Sir John Parker’s government-endorsed target - to have at least one minority member on every major UK board. Yet, despite pressure from the government, shareholders, stakeholders and consumers, Green Park found that Britain’s biggest organisations are making little or no progress in appointing more ethnic minority leaders to their boards.

The fourth annual list features the Co-op’s chief financial officer Shirine Khoury-Haq and Sainsbury’s northern managing director Bridget Lea. Mahmud Kamani, the co-founder of online fashion retailer Boohoo, was also on the list.

Comparing the movement of individuals in the past BAME 100 Business Leaders indices, Green Park’s research suggests a “one in, one out” policy in private, public and third sector board appointments.

Steve Baggi, Co-Founder of Green Park and Head of Retail & Consumer said: “Leadership diversity is associated with performance and can have a profound impact on productivity and profit. However, the boards of the largest listed retail firms in the US, UK and mainland Europe are not representative of the customer groups they serve and the type of diverse leadership which can give them a proven competitive edge.

“Without visible and tangible diversity at senior executive levels within retail & consumer organisations, we will see greater employee attrition, an inability to attract and engage minority ethnic candidates, erosion of the customer base and difficulty succeeding in new markets. The BAME 100 Business Leaders we’re highlighting today can help organisations avoid this issue.”


This article was covered in the Retail Gazette on September 13, 2019. For the full Retail Gazette article, click here.

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