No progress has been made on diversity since Green Park began researching the issue. Only 10 of 297 people in the three top leadership positions do not identify as White, the same proportion as in 2014, the research found.
“The snowy peaks of British business remain stubbornly white,” Trevor Phillips, the chair of Green Park, said in a statement. “We know there is no shortage of qualified candidates to fill these roles if companies are willing to look,” he added.
Phillips, who used to lead Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality, said that shareholders, consumers and employees needed to “start questioning whether Black Lives Matter is just rhetoric rather than reality.”
According to Green Park’s research, the percentage of Black executive directors and non-executive directors in the FTSE 100 has slipped to 1.1% from 1.3% in 2014. This compares with increased percentages for Asians and other groups who do not identify as White.
The number of Black people in the leadership pipeline has also fallen over the past year, dimming the prospects for future increases in Black representation at the highest levels of British business. “Corporate leaders need to stop telling us how much they care and do something to show us that black lives really do matter,” Phillips added.
Ethnicity pay gaps
Low numbers of Black people in senior leadership positions at UK companies is an important factor behind pay disparity.
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Bank of America, which have signed the charter, all said they collected diversity data, but declined to disclose it, according to Reuters.