There are no Black chief executive officers, chairmen or chief financial officers in any of Britain’s 100 largest companies, suggesting that corporate diversity is falling.
This was contained in a preliminary report published this month by Green Park, a UK consultancy and executive search firm. It said that not one company in the FTSE-100 had any Black chairs, CEOs of CFOs for the first time since 2014. The FTSE-100 comprises the largest companies trading on the London Stock Exchange by market cap.
The report noted that the percentage of Black executive directors and non-executive directors at FTSE-100 firms has slipped to 1.1% from 1.3% in 2014. However, the percentages of other minority groups including South Asians, East Asians, and so on, in executive and non-executive director positions slightly increased over that same period, the report said without giving an exact figure.
At the moment, only 3.4% of the chair, CFO, CEO positions at FTSE-100 companies are held by ethnic minorities; the same as in 2014 when Green Park first began its analyses of UK corporate diversity.
There may not be any major increases in the number of Black senior executives in the future since the number of Black executives in the “pipeline” at these firms has dropped from 1.4% to 0.9% over the past year, Green Park warned.
The report comes on the heels of commitment by giant UK companies to increase diversity. Trevor Phillips, Chair of Green Park, said there are concerns among some Black executives that they are often used as “diversity window-dressing” and this causes many of them to leave their positions.
“These figures put some flesh on the bone of last year’s protests,” said Phillips. “We know there is no shortage of qualified candidates to fill these roles if companies are willing to look.
“It is time that shareholders, consumers and employees start questioning whether Black Lives Matter is just rhetoric rather than reality. Corporate leaders need to stop telling us how much they care and do something to show us that black lives really do matter.”
Forbes reports that the decline in Black senior executives was also due to changes in the FTSE-100 composition.