State Street’s CEO says ethnic diversity on boards is “material to long-term sustainable returns”. It’s a reminder that businesses do not exist in a vacuum.
In case there was any doubt: it’s time to address the lack of ethnic diversity in boardrooms.
The issue has been in the background for some time, but the Black Lives Matter protests in the US, UK and around the world last year, following the horrifying death of George Floyd, emphatically brought the message home. But boardrooms should now be aware that investors are pushing for it too. It makes sense, both ethically and from a business point of view.
This week State Street, one of the world’s top five fund managers with $2.7trn under management, put UK companies on notice. Cyrus Taraporevala, president and chief executive, declared
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Seven hundred companies have submitted Modern Slavery Act statements, but few have met all the core elements of the law. Resources, a lack of knowledge and a need for more guidance have all contributed to a slow start.