‘It’s time to tackle the diversity issue in blue-chip companies’, was the message from Streatham MP Chuka Umunna in the Commons this week.
The push for ethnic minorities to be represented comes as the 25% target for women on blue-chip boards set by Lord Davies in 2010 was yesterday revealed to have been met.
In a debate in the Commons on Wednesday, Mr Umunna acknowledged the progress that had been made since 2010, when there were 21 all-male boards in the FTSE 100, but was keen to point out that the next diversity issue to be tackled is all-white boards.
“If gender diversity has increased, however, the appalling lack of ethnic diversity in UK boardrooms persists, and progress has gone into reverse in 2015,” he said.
“That is no way for our country to mark the 50th anniversary this year of the first Race Relations Act.”
Mr Umunna cited a survey of 10,000 top business leaders by executive recruiter Green Park.
“The number of visible ethnic minority CEOs is falling, and the number of all-white boards is increasing, at a time when 14% of our population is from a black or minority ethnic background.
“Today there are just four non-white CEOs in the FTSE 100.”
Mr Umunna penned an Evening Standard piece with former Twickenham MP Vince Cable on the issue earlier this week.
The report showed that 15 of the FTSE 250 companies now have all-male boards compared to 131 in 2011.
Picture courtesy of the Labour Party, with thanks