10 Aug 2022
Are Boards Becoming More Diverse?
Our previous content has been focused on how a board is made up and the different types of board members there are. One question we get asked about the most; are boards actually becoming diverse?
We see the quotas, we see the EDI statements and we see the “fuss”, but is it actually translating? Are organisations actually “walking the talk”?
According to the Parker review in 2017 all FTSE 100 companies were to have at least one board member from an ethnic minority background by this year (2021). As of November last year, 74 had met that target and according to the Hampton-Alexander Review press release the number of women on FTSE boards is up by 50 per cent in just five years. This is significant and any successful move forward is progress, however, these 100 organisations are hardly indicative of the thousands of smaller listed and non-listed companies here in the UK.
The charity sector is also on a journey. According to the charity commission in 2017, 92% of trustees were white, senior, and above average income and education. The Charity Governance Code now lists Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as one of its seven principles of good governance and states: “Boards that commit to equality, diversity and inclusion are more likely to set a positive example and tone for the charity by following an appropriate strategy for delivering its purpose and setting inclusive values and culture.”
We know that the people we speak with are often wary of being used for their “diversifying factor,” be that their; age, ethnicity, or socio-economic background, so that organisations can say that they care but give them an ineffectual position - or “box-tick”. For BAME Recruitment, as a social change organisation with a focus on inclusivity, we are able to decide the organisations we work with. We will not be used to “tick a box”, choosing to be brave enough to call out if we think we are. The next step? Either educate if the organisation is open to change, or walk away.
Over the past year we’ve helped a number of organisations appoint over 25 trustees from different age ranges, ethnic minorities and socio-economic backgrounds to their boards. We’re not the only ones trying to make a difference; Getting on Board, Action for Trustee Racial Diversity (ATRD), Dynamic Boards and a host of more mainstream organisations are all here fighting the good fight.
We’re focused on changing hearts and minds and know that diversity on boards is about diversity of thought and ensuring the representation of the community that the organisation serves.
Join our drop-in clinic tomorrow to find out more...