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BAME index: number of charity leaders doubles in a year

BAME LEADERS INDEX: Green Park chairman Trevor Phillips

THE AMOUNT of senior charity workers featured on an index of the top 100 black and minority ethnic leaders in the UK has more than doubled in a year.

The BAME 100 Business Leaders list 2019, published by recruitment and diversity consultancy Green Park, charts leaders in the private, public and third sectors.

This year 20 individuals, including Paul Amadi, chief supporter officer at the British Red Cross, on the list were defined as charity sector leaders, up from seven in 2018.

While there has been a significant rise in the number of BAME leaders in the third sector, Green Park’s index suggests that BAME board recruitment across all sectors has flatlined over the past three years, with no progress being made in terms of the appointment of more ethnic minority leaders to boards.

Responding to the figures on BAME board directors, Trevor Phillips, Green Park’s chairman, said: “Despite the clear, long-established evidence that organisations which are diverse and inclusive perform better than those that aren’t, the UK’s private, public and third sector boards remain overwhelmingly white. Some claim this is due to a shortage of board-ready BAME individuals. But as this year’s BAME 100 Business Leaders Index clearly demonstrates, the talent is out there – and in greater numbers than ever.”

He added: “On this evidence, it’s difficult not to conclude that in contrast to the improvement in attitudes to gender diversity, when it comes to ethnicity, the UK’s boards are operating a 'one in, one out' policy. The old excuses that 'we can’t find them' and 'they aren't qualified' clearly no longer hold water. Private sector board chairs and their nominations committees in particular have to do better if UK plc is going to cope with the challenge of selling Britain to the world.”

Phillips also called for the government to speed up its implementation of mandatory ethnic pay gap reporting.

“Monitoring and reporting ethnic pay gaps at our top organisation will throw a light on progress in appointing BAME leaders. It’s helped increase the number of women at senior levels and the new government should not drop the ball on taking the same positive approach to ethnic pay gap reporting,” Phillips said.

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