Investment Week | Board gender parity delayed to 2059 at current pace
Media Coverage 19th August 2021 2 minutes read
Boardroom diversity is improving but white men dominate direct routes to leadership, The Times reports on the key findings of the 2021 Green Park Business Leaders Index.
Despite some progress on diversity, in the upper echelons of Britain’s top companies ethnic minorities and females are still being shunted into functions which are far less likely routes into the top tier of leadership than those travelled by their white, male counterparts.
Green Park’s annual FTSE 100 Business Leaders Index reveals that Britain’s female and ethnic minority business leaders remain largely consigned to functions such as HR, Diversity and Marketing & Communications. They hold less influence, have lower salaries and are less likely to be on track to C-Suite roles.
The survey also reveals that one of the least diverse functions is Diversity & Inclusion, which is disproportionately a white and female preserve – nearly two out of three of these senior roles are filled by white women.
Trevor Phillips, the anti-racism campaigner and chairman of Green Park, comments that the lack of white men in senior diversity and inclusion jobs was telling: “Why? Because nobody thinks it matters very much. So that’s a good place for the women and for the minorities to go, where they can earn quite a lot of money and they can call themselves ‘chief-somethings’.”
He adds: "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.”
The Business Leaders Index also shows for the first time that there are no black leaders in C-suite roles at FTSE 100 companies, dropping to zero after stalling for the past 6 years. This would appear to confirm that ethnic minority leaders are diverted towards the pathways least likely to lead to the top. In fact, only 11 of 295 (3.7%) leaders in the Top 3 roles have ethnic minority backgrounds.
Similarly, female board members are almost twice as likely to be Non-Executive Directors as Executive Directors, and still only fill 12.2% of the top 3 C-Suite roles (Chair, CEO and CFO).
To read the Times article in full, as published on Wednesday August 11th 2021, click here.