No more all-white boards, FTSE 100 companies told

The leading public companies in Britain should no longer have all-white directors on their boards, the Government is set to demand.
While boards of huge companies often come under fire for having a disproportionate amount of white men on boards, a Government report is due to call for changes to that by the year 2021.
A review into boards of FTSE 100 firms, which was led by Sir John Parker, has concluded that they are not representative enough of their workforces, their customer bases and their supply chains.
The report, due to be released next week, contains a set of recommendations to make sure boards are more ethnically diverse.
As well as targets being pushed for those on the FTSE 100 index, Britain’s biggest 250 public companies will also be urged to appoint at least one board member who is not white within eight years.
In order to allay any criticism of positive discrimination, the new report suggests a new mentoring system to make sure everyone on the board deserves a place there not just for the colour of their skin, but for their knowledge and skillset.
The chairs of the UK’s leading firms are being told them should work to set up schemes to mentor non-white colleagues to give them the best chance possible of breaking through the so-called glass ceiling.
The new Parker Review is set to reveal that while a total of 14 per cent of the UK’s population as a whole is non-white, only eight per cent of the 1100 directors who sit on boards of the FTSE 100 companies are not white.
And when it comes to non-whites on the boards who are also UK citizens, the picture is even worse. Only 1.5 per cent of FTSE 100 directors are both not white and UK citizens. It shows some firms in the index have boards which are mostly made up of directors with foreign passports.
The report is due to be launched on Wednesday at an event attended by Business Minister Margot James.
Her involvement, and that of employers’ groups including the CBI, would indicate that the Government is planning to throw its weight behind the far-reaching recommendations.
Sir John, who was commissioned to undertake the review by then Business Secretary Vince Cable, said: “I am a firm believer that greater diversity on boards leads to stronger, more balanced business decisions.”