• Saturday, October 01, 2022


Number of FTSE 350 firms with director of colour doubles in a year

Research shows that 70 companies in the FTSE 100 disclosed their board included at least one director of colour in 2021, up from 36 the prior year. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

THE NUMBER of FTSE 350-listed companies with a director of colour more than doubled this year, but the majority of boards on the London index are still all-white, according to research by Thomson Reuters Practical Law.

Of 272 FTSE 350 companies reviewed, 123 had a director of colour in 2021, compared with just 59 the previous year, the research showed.

The data excluded investment trusts and around 20 companies that fell out of the FTSE 350 indexes after their annual investor meetings.

Companies are coming under increasing pressure to reverse under-representation at the top. The government’s Parker Review last year set a target for each FTSE 100 firm to have at least one director of colour by the end of this year, and for all FTSE 250 boards to do so by 2024.

FTSE 350 companies are taking great strides to increase diversity at board level. However, there is more progress to be made,” Hilary Owens Gray, director at Practical Law, said.

The research showed 70 companies in the FTSE 100 had disclosed their board included at least one director of colour, up from 36 the prior year.

There were also 402 women on FTSE 100 boards, representing 39 per cent of all directorship positions, the data showed. The year before, it was 35 per cent.

However, of all executive roles in the FTSE 100, just 14 per cent are held by women.

Only 16 FTSE 100 companies have equal representation of men and women at the board level, the research showed.

“It is important that companies continue to make improvements in this area,” Owens Gray said. “Evidence shows that more diverse businesses can be more successful businesses and ultimately deliver better long-term returns for shareholders.”


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