The UK’s Business Minister, Margot James, has called for greater transparency on diversity within the UK’s larger businesses ahead of her chairing the first meeting of the Business Diversity and Inclusion Group.
The new group was established to build on the work of previous Government reviews to increase inclusion and diversity within UK companies.
The initial focus for the meeting will be to try to establish what level of information listed businesses should disclose to encourage diversity in the workplace.
The FRC which is responsible for corporate governance in the UK is already considering government proposals that include;
- a target of 33% of FTSE 350 board positions to be filled by women by 2020
- all FTSE 350 firms to have at least one director from an ethnic minority
- all companies with more than 50 employees to publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay band.
Margot James commented;
Being open and transparent about the diversity of workforces is effective in bringing about cultural change – helping to remove barriers in the workplace from the shop floor to the boardroom.
CEO of the FRC, Stephen Haddrill further commented;
Diversity at all levels in organisations builds strong foundations for long-term success, in both the private and the public sector. Making good use of the talent, skills and experience of all drives better corporate performance and a successful economy.
Whilst it seems likely that the targets for FTSE companies will be implemented and that the companies will need to adopt a strategy to help meet those targets, for many businesses it appears the only requirement likely in the short terms is that of reporting but it will soon be apparent whether the Government feels that a more proactive approach is needed as that data is gathered.