Leaders of the country’s biggest corporations will come together at major conference in October to develop an action plan aimed at making Britain’s boardrooms more ethnically diverse.
The Bank of England, HSBC and Tesco are taking part in the Investing in Ethnicity and Race Conference, which will kick start a drive to improve career progression opportunities for people of Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Other organisations taking part include the NHS, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Baker McKenzie, Lloyds Banking Group and The London Ambulance Service.
Seminars and workshops will take place at the event, which is being hosted by Square Peg Media and diversity expert Sarah Garrett MBE.
The conference comes on the back of a government review which found that lack of BAME talent in executive positions is costing the economy £24bn a year.
The Race in the Workplace study, led by Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, discovered that the employment rate for people of BAME backgrounds (62.8%) is 12% lower than that of their white counterparts, with just 6% landing executive jobs.
Speaking ahead of the event, Sarah Garrett MBE, said:
“Diversity is so often a rarity at the top table. Almost six out of ten FTSE 100 boards have no minority presence. BAME graduates are less likely to become employed than their white counterparts. Some 60% of black employees feel their career development has failed to meet their expectations.
“The Investing in Ethnicity & Race initiative applauds Tesco, HSBC and the Bank of England for taking substantive steps towards ensuring the make-up of our society is reflected at all levels in their companies.
“The McGregor-Smith Report showed that poor equality of opportunity has cost the economy dear, and businesses now need to act.
“We’re pushing for the more than 50 companies attending the conference to take those actions back to the workplace, and complete the key recommendations through our Maturity Matrix. It’s imperative that organisations start addressing this agenda now.”
People interested in attending the Investing in Ethnicity & Race Conference can sign up at http://www.investinginethnicity.com/