10 November 2017


It's time to step up progress on diversity and inclusion

Figures published this week reveal disappointing rates of progress on the number of female leaders in UK boardrooms.

It's time to step up progress on diversity and inclusion

It is well-established that more diverse and inclusive workplaces lead to better performing businesses by improving their access to skills, decision-making and staff engagement. Drawing on a diversity of people, skills and ideas enables businesses to grow and is an important part of helping to address the UK’s productivity challenge.

It is therefore disappointing that the Hampton-Alexander review progress report published this week shows a decline in the pace of progress on increasing the number of female leaders. Last year, the review set a target for 33% of FTSE 350 board positions to be filled by women by 2020. As the report reveals, at the current pace of progress, the business community will only just meet this target.

Realising the benefits of more inclusive workplaces depends on increasing diversity in all its forms. As well as on gender, it is time for businesses to pick up the pace on the representation of people from ethnic minorities. Last month, the Parker review showed that over the past year the number of people of colour on FTSE100 boards fell by 10%.

The CBI fully supports the recommendations made to businesses by the Hampton-Alexander and Parker reviews. Putting them into practice requires business leaders to commit to identify, understand and address the barriers to greater diversity and inclusion in their workplace. The CBI seeks to share good practice to help firms to do so in order that the pace of progress is stepped up across the business community.

For more information about the CBI’s diversity and inclusion policy work, please contact Jennifer.Beckwith@cbi.org.uk