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12 Mar 2021 | 13:33

Almost 1/5 of FTSE 100 have no minority directors - report

(Sharecast News) - Almost a fifth of FTSE 100 boards have no members from ethnic minorities with less than a year to hit a target of at least one non-white director, a government backed review said. The update said companies had made progress toward the "one by 2021" goal set by industrialist John Parker in 2017. A survey found 81 of FTSE 100 boards reporting in March had at least one director from an ethnic minority compared with 74 in November and 52 in January 2020. That leaves 19 companies still to respond to the review's recommendations.

The review said three companies did not respond to its voluntary survey and two were unable to provide the information. Of the 998 board positions covered by the survey, 124 were held by ethnic minority directors compared with 95 in 2020.

Progress is slower on representation in the most important jobs on boards. From the FTSE 100 companies that responded only five ethnic minorities were chief executives. Two were chairs and four were chief financial officers. The results suggest companies have mainly recruited non-executive directors from ethnic minorities.

Parker said: "This survey of FTSE 100 companies represents significant progress towards the target. We would hope the remaining companies in the FTSE 100, who still have time to meet the target, will ensure they follow this encouraging lead and align with the business case that underpins the review."

When the review first reported in 2017, 51% of FTSE 100 boards were all-white and only 2% of non-white directors were UK citizens. The latest survey found 36% of ethnic minority directors identified as British citizens

The review's government-endorsed targets were based on successful efforts to get more women onto boards and senior management of big companies to reduce groupthink and better reflect society and the global nature of business.

FTSE 250 companies have until 2024 to appoint at least one ethnic minority director. The review will survey them by the end of 2021.

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