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Equality, diversity and inclusion  |  Societal and social  |  Succession planning

Black History Month 2020

Black History Month 2020


Acknowledging that UK boardrooms are not representative of their workforce, and even less society from an ethnic perspective

Boards and non-executive directors have a key role to play in building more diverse and inclusive environments and workforces that are representative of society. When it comes to more diverse and inclusive boardroom, NEDs, chairs and members of nominations committees are responsible for increasing the representation of under-represented groups, including professionals from BAME backgrounds.

Black History Month 2020 is a new opportunity for NEDonBoard to alert decision-makers on the urgency to address culture, diversity and inclusion. In a series of blogs published throughout October, we explore levers that boards can use to create positive change.


In this first blog of a series of three, we start with an audit of the current situation.

  • There are limited data points to fully appreciate the lack of ethnic minority representation on UK boards. Research is limited to the Parker Review, which only looks at FTSE boards and to Cabinet Office data on public appointments.
  • The Parker Review indicated in its 2020 report that 37% of FTSE 100 boards have no BAME representation on their boards (down from 50% in 2017) and that FTSE 250 boards are even less diverse than FTSE 100 boards with 69% of respondents with no ethnic representation in their boardroom.
  • The Public Appointments Data Report 2018/19 published by the Cabinet Office in July 2020 indicates that 9% of public appointees were from an ethnic minority background, a 1%-point drop from the previous year. This includes individuals from all groups other than White ethnic minority groups. The 9% should be compared to the Public Appointments Diversity Action Plan target of 14% by 2022.


The data indicates an issue that needs to be acknowledged and addressed by non-executive directors and board members.

NEDonBoard welcomes the Change the Race Ratio campaign, launched at the end of October 2020, which calls for all businesses to set and publish clear targets for greater racial and ethnic diversity at board and senior leadership levels.


Related posts:

NEDonBoard: Diversity & Inclusion press release

Rethinking the board recruitment process to increase diversity in the boardroom

6 ways NEDs can address Culture, Diversity & Inclusion right now in their workforce and in the boardroom


Written by Elise Perraud, NEDonBoard COO


Want to know more?

  • If you are looking to transition to the board as a non-executive director, join us for our next free webinar, How to secure your first non-executive director role.
  • If you are already committed to becoming a non-exec and want a roadmap to achieve this objective, visit the NED Accelerator Programme by NEDonBoard course page. We applied years of accumulated knowledge and worked with experienced NEDs and chairs to deliver practical and actionable content to support you in transitioning with confidence and success.