link.png Diversity: FTSE 100 firms need to do better← Back

Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable yesterday launched the 2020 Campaign, an initiative which aims is to eradicate all-white FTSE 100 boards by 2020 as well as increase the representation of women at executive level.
 
Research by Green Park Executive Recruitment found that 62% of the UK’s largest firms have all-white boards. That’s fractionally higher than in February, when the figure stood at 61%, despite companies being encouraged to recruit from diverse backgrounds. The research also found that there are no executive leaders of Chinese or East Asian origin amongst the FTSE 100.  In terms of gender, only 12 of the 289 chairmen, CEO and CFOs are women. 
 
In the face of these statistics, Vince Cable has called for UK’s biggest companies to hire more women directors and appealed to them to recruit from a more ethnically diverse talent pool. Sir John Park, Chair of Anglo American, one of the FTSE’s most diverse companies in terms of executive leadership, is leading the 2020 Campaign, with individuals such as stand-up comedian Lenny Henry on the committee. It is to kick off with six months of consultation.‚Äč
 
 
Vince Cable pointed towards the positive impact diversity amongst executives, as an incentive for businesses to hire non-white directors: “We know that businesses with diversity at their top are more successful.” With targets to end all-white boards within five years, and have at least a quarter of female executives by 2015, he expanded on what needs to be done: “The first step to improve this is to encourage businesses to disclose and record the ethnicity of their executives while making sure they nurture talent from all backgrounds and are truly meritocratic about progression to the top.” 
 
Raj Tulsiani, CEO of Green Park Executive Recruitment added:  “This is an important challenge to organisations and how they think about leadership, innovation and changing customer values.” More balanced boards are key to companies’ success in the future.
 
With FTSE 100 struggling to break out of the male, all-white executive mold, it falls to companies like Style Incorporated, with CEO Patricia Lindo, to set example.