THE new president of the Confederation of British Industry has said he will “aim to get better BAME representation in boardrooms across the country”.
British Indian entrepreneur and peer Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE was elected as the first non-white president of the CBI with an “overwhelming majority” on Tuesday (16).
Described by the CBI as one of the Britain’s leading businessmen, Bilimoria was the founding chair of the UK-India Business Council.
Bilimoria – who became the youngest chancellor in UK when appointed at the helm of Thames Valley University (renamed later as University of West London) – currently serves as the seventh chancellor of the University of Birmingham.
An independent cross-bench peer in the House of Lords for 14 years, Bilimoria is also chair of the University of Cambridge Judge Business School Advisory Board.
“I am honoured to be president of the CBI during this hugely important time for UK business,” said the 58-year-old, who will replace John Allan CBE.
“As the four nations of our country embark upon an ambitious economic recovery plan, I will do all I can to help ensure we build back better through inclusive and sustainable growth.
“Ensuring the CBI is seen as a home for entrepreneurs and SMEs is first among my top four priorities during my time as president.
“Secondly, establishing the UK as a trading powerhouse, which is vital for our future prosperity. Thirdly, I will use my background in higher education to champion the UK’s unique soft power offer.
“And last but by no means least is the importance of acting to increase inclusive workplaces. Diversity drives better decisions. And it will be my aim to get better black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) representation in boardrooms across the country.”
CBI director-general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said Bilimoria’s experience, global outlook and tenacity will prove invaluable to the CBI and the UK business community”.