Discrimination Remains Despite Greater UK Boardroom Diversity

The largest listed UK firms have appointed increasingly ethnically diverse boards, but many finance sector employees from ethnic minorities continue to experience discrimination, according to new reports. Thomson Reuters Practical Law’s Annual Reporting and AGMs 2022 found that 84% of FTSE 100 firms have at least one board member from an ethnically diverse background, compared to 55% in the FTSE 250. This means two thirds of FTSE 350 companies have at least one board member from an ethnically diverse background, a steep rise from 45% in 2021. Under the Parker Review, all FTSE 350 firms were required to have at least one director from an ethnic minority background by 2021. Separately, the Race to Equality in UK Financial Services report by Reboot found that seven out of ten ethnic minorities (68%) have experienced discrimination at work in the last year and eight out of 10 (82%) have experienced unwelcome comments based on their background. Around half (47%) of ethnic minority survey respondents with experience of discrimination said they had raised issues with their HR team, of which three quarters (75%) felt HR had not been very effective. The survey is based on 800 people working in financial services roles with a minimum of 10 years’ experience in the industry.

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