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Women and ethnic minorities ‘on B roads’ to top jobs

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www.personneltoday.com | Ashleigh Webber

Women and ethnic minorities are often ‘taking B roads’ to get to top leadership jobs, research that tracks how organisations have increased diversity in senior roles has found.

Analysis by executive recruitment and diversity consultancy Green Park revealed that, while significant progress has been made in getting more women and ethnic minority groups into top-tier roles over the past decade, they are still taking too long to reach senior leadership or board roles – either because they are in roles that do not offer natural progression to the most senior jobs, or they need more time to get there.

Green Park’s 2024 Business Leaders Index, which tracks progress at board, executive committee and pipeline roles at FTSE 250 and FTSE 100 organisations, finds that ethnic minority representation has been growing at a much slower rate since 2013 than female representation.

Fifty-one per cent of senior roles in FTSE 100 firms are held by women. The proportion of female chairs has risen from 1.0% in 2013 to 17% in 2023, CEOs from 3.0% to 9.3%; and CFOs from 6.0% to 22.6%.

However, the proportion of ethnic minority chairs in the FTSE 100 has only risen from 3.0% in 2013 to 5.0% in 2023, CEOs from 5.0% to 8.2%, and CFOs from 2.0% to 10.4%.

Analysis of corporate CEO backgrounds shows a preference for executives with experience in finance and operations. However, across the FTSE 350 as a whole, female representation tends to be focused in people-led positions such as chief…

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