Mitie boss: Businesses must swap secrets to solve diversity deficit

Jessica Morris
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British business must do more to promote diversity (Source: Getty)

The boss of London-listed outsourcer Mitie has urged British businesses to swap their best practices for improving ethnic diversity in the workplace.

Ruby McGregor-Smith, who became the first Asian female chief executive of a FTSE 250-listed firm when she took the reins at Mitie in 2007, is heading a government-commissioned review into this issue.

Read more: We need more role models to address the BAME diversity deficit in business

"Part of the independent findings for me are all around sharing best practice," she told City A.M. at the launch of youth employment charity Elevation Networks' list of the 50 most influential BAME public sector leaders.

"Part of what I'm going to be doing in the autumn is talking about the brilliant best practice you see in certain industries. If we all followed more of that I think we could make quite a big change."

Baroness McGregor-Smith also warned boards must ensure diversity remains an imperative against a gloomier outlook for the UK economy.

Read more: Why everything you think you know about diversity is wrong

"I think that tough economic times make it harder because you’re focused on so many other things," she said.

"All good chief execs will make sure that people are at the heart of their agenda."

Mitie warned on its revenues in March, saying increased economic pressures and uncertainty forced clients to cancel work.

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