Just 12 CEOs from the UK, US & Canada’s biggest listed companies are ethnic minorities

CEOs talking in a boardroom

Just 12 CEOs from the UK, US & Canada’s biggest listed companies are ethnic minorities, according to new research.

Research released today by diversity and inclusion organisation, INvolve, has found that of the major indices of the UK, US and Canada, only five per cent of the CEOs are from an ethnic minority background. The analysis also highlighted how the indices in none of the countries have any women CEOs who are an ethnic minority.

The UK and US both have five CEOs in the FTSE 100 and S&P 100 respectively who are ethnic minorities. In comparison, Canada only has two CEOs listed on the S&P/TSX 60; John S Chen, CEO of Blackberry, and Bharat Bhagwanji Masrani, CEO of Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Of the five CEOs in the US who are an ethnic minority, none of them are from an African American or Latin American background. Indeed, in the UK, only one CEO of a FTSE 100 company is Black, Arnold Wayne Donald, CEO of Carnival PLC; whilst Iván Dagoberto Arriagada Herrera, CEO of Antofagasta, is Latin American.

The research reinforces the question of whether businesses are doing enough to promote diversity within their own workplaces. The current state of affairs strengthens the need to celebrate role models who are empowering ethnic minority employees.

Now in the fifth year, the EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Models Lists, supported by Yahoo Finance, exist to showcase business leaders who are breaking down barriers at work and working hard to promote ethnic minority inclusion. Representing multiple sectors and industries, those on the EMpower Role Model Lists have not only achieved success in their own careers, but used this to actively advocate for more inclusive workplaces. Nominations can be made here.

Speaking about the report, Suki Sandhu OBE, Founder & CEO of INvolve, said, “We’re genuinely shocked by these figures.”

“To see that only five per cent of companies in three of the most influential economies have CEOs from an ethnic minority background is, quite frankly, ridiculous, and highlights the lack of diverse talent at the top.”

“Not only is this morally wrong, it’s harmful to a company’s bottom line as research shows that companies that aren’t diverse have lower profits.”

“To make real change at the top we have to celebrate diverse role models and advocates and provide them with a platform to inspire future generations of diverse and inclusive leaders.”

“There are also some fundamental legal changes that need to happen in the UK in order to empower them.”

“The EMpower Role Model Lists exist to showcase the incredible work being done by ethnic minority leaders, future leaders and their advocates in business, who are leading the charge for more inclusive workplaces.”

“We are now in our fifth year of celebrating fantastic role models and we can’t wait to hear from nominees who are changing the future of inclusion in the workplace.”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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