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Ethnic diversity and inclusion is at the top of boardroom agendas across the financial services industry.
Recent initiatives launched by HM Treasury, FCA and the Bank of England to promote ethnic diversity and inclusion represent significant progress, as do the public statements of leading City figures in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. However, much remains to be done.
According to a recent industry survey by reboot., a network of senior, non-white professionals drawn from some of the City’s big firms, nearly half of the respondents felt that their career progression was slower than for white colleagues. Only half thought their leadership team believed diversity to be crucial to the future success of the business. Only 13 of the 100 UK listed employees currently report their ethnicity pay gaps and, despite progress in recent years, fewer than one in ten management senior roles were held by black, Asian or other ethnic minority staff, according to a Discussion Paper, published jointly by FCA, PRA and BoE earlier this year.
The Black Lives Matter movement has heightened awareness of the stark lack of racial diversity in the City and across Corporate UK. The FCA’s policy to encourage firms to hire more ethnic minority candidates in senior roles is just a part of wider efforts to tackle a widespread problem.
In the City, Financial News recently revealed that out of 650 top dealmakers in London, only three were black. In a separate investigation by the paper, not a single top investment bank disclosed details of ethnic diversity in their ranks when asked, and only a handful of top fund managers were able to do the same. That said, many financial institutions have embarked on initiatives to increase racial diversity among their employees, but there is a long way to go.