Media Coverage 26th September 2019 2 minutes read

Third Sector: Number of charity leaders on BAME index more than doubles in a year

While there are more charity names on the BAME 100 Business leaders list than before, diversity and recruitment consultancy Green Park says that more should be done. 

The fourth annual BAME 100 Business Leaders index identifies the best of Britain’s black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) board-ready talent across the private, public and third sectors. Published today, the index highlights 20 individuals suitable for charity and non-for-profit boards, with many others also highlighted who have third sector board experience or interest.

Individuals highlighted from the third sector include: Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, Executive Director of Foundation for Future London; Paul Amadi, Chief Supporter Officer of British Red Cross; Poppy Jaman, Chief Executive Officer of City Mental Health Alliance; Javed Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Barnardo's; Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan Thames Valley; Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive Officer of Oxfam UK and Geoff Thompson, Founder & Executive Chairman, Youth Charter.

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 major organisations are making little or no progress in appointing more ethnic minority leaders to their boards.

Since the first BAME 100 index was launched three years ago, only 15.7% of leaders shortlisted have been appointed to new board roles across the private, public and third sectors. However, after taking into account board directors who have relinquished their roles, moved abroad or have passed away*, there has been a net gain of just one new British BAME board member in the last three years.

Kai Adams, Partner and Head of the Charities and Social Enterprise Practice at Green Park, said:  “In times of greater public scepticism, scrutiny and falling trust, the importance of being more accountable and representative is vitally important. The end goal needs to be a board which is complementary and effective, able to communicate better with the widest audience possible, make better decisions and deliver a greater impact. It is at board level where there should be insight and challenge, ownership and accountability. The more differentiated the trustee group, the more differentiated the questions asked and the solutions offered.”

“Good intentions are no longer enough. Boards and recruiters alike need to close any gap between what they are saying and what they are doing. Our experience has shown that there is a wealth of diverse talent available. In 2018, our placements across charities and social enterprises were 20% BAME overall and 27% BAME at Chair and Trustee level despite a sector average of just 6.6%. Therefore, the old excuse of not being able to find diverse and suitably qualified talent does not hold water. If they are to plug the gap, charities must address their talent strategy, processes and suppliers, or risk losing relevance with the communities they serve.”


This article was covered in the Third Sector on the 11th of September, 2019. For the full article, please click here.

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