The Parker Review committee, a group dedicated to advancing the racial diversity of U.K. boards, has published its 2022 review and announced new targets for FTSE 350 boards.
The voluntary census, which reviewed FTSE 350 board diversity in 2022, found that 96 FTSE 100 companies featured at least one minority ethnic director on their boards, up from 89 one year prior. Of these 96 FTSE 100 companies, 49 have more than one minority ethnic director on their board.
FTSE 250 companies are “making progress” toward the 2024 deadline of appointing at least one minority ethnic director, with 67% of companies that responded meeting the target in 2022, up from 55% last year.
In 2022, 31 FTSE 100 chair and executive director positions were held by a minority ethnic director, compared to 34 in the FTSE 250.
Going forward, each FTSE 350 company will be asked to set a percentage target for senior management positions that will be occupied by ethnic minority executives in December 2027.
Companies are also encouraged to describe in their annual reporting how management development plans they have in place help create a diverse and inclusive pipeline of talent.
Given the wide variation in the share of ethnic minorities in the population in different regions of the U.K., the Parker Review committee recognized that there can be no “one size fits all” target percentage for ethnic minority executives in senior management.
For the first time, private companies are also being asked to engage with the Parker Review. 50 of the U.K.’s largest private firms have been set the target of having at least one ethnic minority director on their main board by December 2027 and to set a similar percentage target for ethnic minority executives within senior management teams.
“With more and more boardrooms voluntarily hitting their ethnicity targets this year, it’s clear that U.K. companies are on the right course for achieving true diversity in business,” Nusrat Ghani MP, business and trade minister, said in a press release.
“There’s still more to do, however, and the Parker Review’s recommendations clearly set out how companies must improve diversity from top to bottom in the coming years, so they can make the most of untapped talent available and ensure British boardrooms and senior management teams are truly reflective of British society,” Ghani concluded.