Top companies ignore boardroom diversity

The
Government and UK businesses have ignored calls to promote boardroom diversity
when appointing non-executive directors, according to an influential industry
body.

The
Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Acevo), which has
1,650 members with a combined turnover of £7bn, said little progress had been
made in the 12 months since a government-backed report recommended drastic
changes to boardroom culture.

Speaking
at a London summit this week, Stephen Bubb, head of Acevo, said, “The signs are
that, far from making progress, the Government and business are losing interest
in the agenda. We should not have to wait for the next corporate governance
disaster before they do something about it.”

Bubb
revealed that, in advance of the summit, he had written to the company
secretaries of the entire FTSE-250, as well as 20 top headhunters, inviting
them to attend

Bubb
asked whether any had taken steps to widen recruitment, and whether any were
interested in considering not-for-profit sector chief executives as potential
non-executive directors. Only one leading company replied and it asked not to
be contacted again.

The
lack of interest comes a year after a report from the London Business School
concluded that, to enhance boardroom effectiveness, non-executives needed to be
drawn from backgrounds other than white middle-aged businessmen.

By
Daniel Thomas

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