by Josie Cox
Originally published: May 22, 2017
Any advocate of diversity in business has excuses to despair galore these days. White, predominately privately educated men run corporate Britain. The gender pay gap is doggedly stuck in double digits and, as of late last year, more than half of FTSE 100 companies did not have any directors of colour. Only nine BME executives held the position of chair or chief executive.
Elsewhere it’s still not unusual for professionals of any seniority level to hide their sexual orientation, fearful that it might sway their image or potential in the workplace. Case in point: it took until 2014 for Britain to have its first openly gay CEO of a FTSE 100 company, courtesy of Burberry’s Christopher Bailey.
Especially in London, we have a tendency to pinpoint the finance industry as the worst offender when it comes to attracting talent of all genders, skin colours, religions and beliefs. And why wouldn’t we? The Oxbridge-educated bankers and investors, with their double-barrelled surnames and corner offices in Canary Wharf’s ivory towers, are an easy target for our grievances.