Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna yesterday promised to hold UK businesses to account over the number of senior black and ethnic minority staff they employ, most notably at board level.
Pledging to introduce a Davies-style commission and report into why people from ethnic minorities make up just one in 15 senior management positions, Umunna said a future Labour government would force firms to report on the number of BME staff on their boards in the same way Davies made businesses report on female representation.
“There is a huge diversity deficit in the boardroom. We have to smash the glass ceiling which exists and is undeniable and we have to break the grip of the old boys network over our boardrooms,” he told City A.M. yesterday.
“When we as politicians are saying ‘reach for the stars and you can make it’, we’re left speechless when people ask ‘who looks like me that works there at the moment?’
Umunna added that his party did not endorse quotas on female representation or ethnicity but that he would not “take those options off the table” if businesses failed to improve representation.