Almost three-quarters of executive directors from a minority ethnic background believe their race or ethnicity has had a “significant impact” on their career progression, according to a survey from an executive search company.
The report, called the Ethnicity Gap and compiled by the Harvey Nash Engage Network, revealed that 71% believe their background has had an effect on their careers. The survey also showed that 63% believe “unconscious bias” of senior leadership teams, which are mostly white and male, is the biggest barrier to boardroom roles.
Harvey Nash pointed to an interview given by Lord Herman Ouseley, former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, to the BBC in which he said: “There’s an established core of successful minority ethnic people in this country who have shown that when they are given the opportunity they flourish at the top and in boardrooms.
“This survey by Harvey Nash provides evidence of how people feel and what’s stopped them from getting to senior positions and into the boardroom.
“It’s a great time for us to move the debate forward because David Cameron himself was committed and pledged to try to end discrimination before he left office, and he’s passing the baton to Theresa May who said herself she wants to change the make-up of boardrooms.”
The survey also produced a list of solutions for resolving boardroom diversity. The top three include insisting recruiters include diversity on shortlists; educating chief executives and boards on the value of diversity; and reporting should include diversity at boardroom level.