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Directors: LGBT People

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd December 2014.

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Photo of Lord Browne of Madingley Lord Browne of Madingley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the action they have taken on gender and race, what efforts they are making to improve the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on corporate boards in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Following Lord Davies’s Review on Women on Boards in 2011, we are now at 22.8% women on FTSE 100 boards (October 2014), from a starting point of 12.5% in 2011.

The Secretary of State for Business innovation and Skills has also recently asked Trevor Phillips to start a new private sector led campaign which will look to address the lack of ethnic diversity in boardrooms, based in part on research that indicates the proportion of Black & Ethnic Minority people in leadership positions is lower than expected compared to the wider population (estimated at 5.1% and 14% respectively).

Recruitment, appointment and promotion should always be on merit, irrespective or gender, race, disability or sexual orientation. We believe it is in the best interests of business to tap into the widest talent pool and that by definition means a diverse and representative leadership team.

We expect that through the progress made on gender and the planned work on ethnic diversity, the momentum will help to improve diversity on corporate boards for all people from different backgrounds, including those from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

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