Just 6.6% of the trustees of leading charities are from an ethnic minority background
The boards of leading charities in England and Wales are even less diverse than those of FTSE 100 companies, new research has revealed.
Just 6.6 per cent of the trustees of leading charities are from an ethnic minority background, compared to 8.2 per cent on FTSE 100 boards, a report by Inclusive Boards found.
The agency found that almost two-thirds of the UK’s 500 largest charities have all-white boards. Oxfam, Save the Children and the British Council were among the close to 80 per cent that have no ethnic minority professionals in their senior leadership teams.
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Nearly 60 per cent of senior leaders and 60 per cent of trustees are men, despite the fact that women make up 65 per cent of employees in the sector.
Women of colour make up just 2.9 per cent of charity trustees, suggesting that they face a double barrier to reaching the top, the report concluded.
The findings come as UK companies come under increasing scrutiny over their lack of diversity at senior level.
The first round of compulsory gender pay gap reporting earlier this month revealed some startling disparities in pay between men and women. Many companies attributed this to the fact that women are underrepresented at senior and board level.
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The gender pay gap figures also led to calls for compulsory ethnicity pay data to be published.
Research published last month revealed that there are more people called David or Steve who head up FTSE 100 companies than there are women or ethnic minorities.
The latest research on charities suggests that the spotlight should also fall on the third sector.
Samuel Kasumu, managing director of Inclusive Boards, said: “The charity sector plays a major role in championing some of the most marginalised communities and challenging issues in our country.
“It is vitally important that its leadership reflects the people it serves as this diversity of thought is essential for good governance.”
The report comes at a particularly challenging time for charities, and the aid sector in particular, after allegations of sexual abuse at Oxfam and Save the Children.
Javed Khan, Barnardos chief executive, said: “These findings are important and sobering evidence of the work needed to make the charity sector truly diverse and inclusive.”