Shocking lack of data shows Boardroom Diversity is non-existent 

  • An interview with Granada Reports presenter Lucy Meacock.

Ethnicity data from boardrooms across the country is rare and shows diversity is very low, board members say.

Lisa Maynard-Atem is a non-executive director at MBH Corporation Plc, and says that a lack of diversity has put her off from applying for boardroom positions.

“For myself as a woman of colour," she said, "I have been in that situation where if I haven’t seen somebody that looks like me, it puts me off from applying for a more senior role or trying to get onto a board.

“I found myself in situations where I just didn’t see anybody that looked like me on those too tables."

Diversity can be seen as a really vital part in bringing innovation to a company.

Lisa continued: “Diversity of thought, of ideas…in terms of innovation, diversity is really key. I think you’re missing out on a wealth of talent and a wealth of creativity.”

The government’s data from the Parker Review in 2021 covered ethnic minority makeup of 333 businesses from the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250.

In the FTSE 100, 16% of all director positions are filled by people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

However, in the FTSE 250, 10% of all director positions were filled by people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Moreover, disability data is very rare to find as people sometimes find it easier to get into employment without disclosing their disability.

Neil Fachie is a board apprentice at MBH and also a Paralympic athlete. 

He became a board apprentice at MBH to offer some respite from his intense training schedule and to prepare himself for life after athletics.

“A sporting career is great but it doesn’t last forever," he said.

"Part of me wants to get involved in the business side, I think it’s really comparable to sport, it’s very competitive and exciting. It’s a world I really enjoy.

“I guess a lot of people after a day of work will go off to the gym to de stress whereas my work is at the gym, for me to destress I want to go and do something else."

In 2021, only 3% of FTSE 100 companies had disabled people in their workforce with none on the board.

He added: “This data doesn’t match up to the 1 in 5 people have a disability in the UK.”

“Our leaders should reflect the communities and the people that they serve,” said Lisa.

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