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Equality, diversity and inclusion  |  Nextgen NEDs

Black History Month

non-executive director diversity

October is Black History Month. In the UK, the practice of observing Black History Month started in the 1980’s. The purpose of Black History Month is to honour the achievements of black people throughout the generations.

NEDonBoard encourages and promotes greater diversity in boardrooms. Effective boards are diverse boards that avoid the pitfalls of group-thinking. Diversity takes different forms and is not limited to gender. Ethnicity, social background and age are components of diversity that should be considered by boards, notably in their succession plans. Black History Month is the opportunity for NEDonBoard to raise awareness of ethnic diversity in the boardroom and look into the representation of people of colour in the boardroom.

Related post: Diversity matters in the boardroom

NEDonBoard thanks Howard Haughton, who analysed the representations of black people at board level in FTSE 100 companies. Mr Haughton indicates that only 13 companies have either a black man or woman as a director. Across the 13 companies, there are 15 black directors, of whom 8 are women and 7 are men. The largest percentage of black directors on any board is 17%.

When considering gender diversity at board level, the minimum representation of women on a board is 10% and the maximum 62%. The most common ratio is 30%. Although small, this latter figure is roughly twice that of the percentage of black people on boards.

As boards and Nominations Committees plan for the succession of non-executive directors and senior managers, they should incorporate diversity as a factor. But not only. Corporates and their boards should also build their internal pipeline of talented and diverse professionals that will be access tomorrow’s boardrooms.

Related post: Board refreshment and succession planning

NEDonBoard is keen to hear from you. In your view, how can UK boardrooms be more representative of the UK society? What can boards and Nominations Committees do to promote more diverse and inclusive boards? NEDonBoard looks forward to hearing back from you. E-mail us at [email protected].

Not yet a NEDonBoard member? Review of our membership options or schedule your free 15-min consultation to discuss your aspirations at board level.

Written by Elise Perraud