Has there been progress in board level diversity – and for who?

Our Founder, Ally Owen, shares her thoughts with D&I Leaders. The original article, by Annie Makoff is over at D&I Leaders

 

It’s an issue which has been top of the board level agenda for decades, with companies taking steps to improve their senior-level recruitment drives and retention strategies, along with government-introduced quotas and ratios, but has there been any actual progress?

 

For Patrick Johnson, director of equality, diversity & inclusion at The University of Law, it depends on who you talk to. “Some boardroom voices will point to the great improvements that have been made, but women and ethnic minorities will say more needs to be done,” he explains. “It is fantastic to see an increase in women entering the boardroom. Unfortunately, most of these women also look the same. Intersectionality is important – we can think we are making progress but this is not being experienced by all women.”

 

In Johnson’s view, many groups of people from different ethnic minorities, social backgrounds as well as those from the disabled and LGBTQ+ communities are still not equally represented at board level. So where are we right now when it comes to board level diversity? We put the question to Johnson and other D&I professionals for their views.

 

Inclusion is moving at a glacial pace


“If the entire business landscape wished to enact tangible change in boardroom diversity, it would have happened by now,” says Ally Owen, award-winning activist and founder of Brixton Finishing School. “We’re still moving towards inclusion at a glacial pace. C-suites continue to wave the flag to the pale and the male – and it is this level that controls the pace at which businesses move towards goals.”

 

Owen points to stark creative industry statistics which she says, paints a ‘clear picture’ of a failure to deliver on the inclusion promise. 17 per cent of creative directors are female, less than 3 per cent of CEOs aren’t white and just 6 per cent of creatives are over 50 and mostly men. In Owen’s view, the issue starts at the bottom of the talent funnel, where there are issues around retention and inclusion. “How can we progress diverse talent to the top if we treat them badly and fail to create cultures that allow them to stay and grow? This deep-rooted apathy and laziness will mean that cultures won’t change unless businesses start to look in the mirror and commit to real transformative action.”

 

Read the full article here: https://dileaders.com/blog/has-there-been-progress-in-board-level-diversity-and-for-who/

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