Business Minister Margot James has written to the chief executives of all FTSE 350 companies urging them to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In her letter, she called on the UK’s largest companies to take up key recommendations from the Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith Review into black and ethnic minority progression in the workplace, including:
- publishing a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay
- setting aspirational targets
- nominating a board member to deliver on those targets
Business Minister Margot James said: "It simply makes no business sense for people to be left behind because of their ethnic background and I am asking FTSE 350 companies to play their part in driving the agenda for greater diversity in the workplace.
Genuine and lasting change must come from within the business community and I encourage companies to take forward Baroness McGregor-Smith’s recommendations."
Baroness McGregor Smith, who published her independent review last month, said, "I’m delighted to see the government playing its part in calling on the UK’s largest businesses to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
FTSE 350 companies must help to bring about change by committing to greater transparency and accountability on this vitally important issue as set out in the recommendations in my review."
In the coming months, Margot James will chair the first meeting of the Business Diversity and Inclusion Group set up following the publication of the McGregor-Smith Review. The group will bring together business leaders and organisations to coordinate action to remove barriers in the workplace.
The Business Inclusion and Diversity Group, chaired by Margot James, will include:
- Baroness McGregor-Smith
- Sir Philip Hampton and Dame Helen Alexander, who are leading a review aimed at increasing female leadership in FTSE companies
- Sir John Parker, who has concluded a consultation on recommendations to increase BME representation in the boardroom
- the CBI, IoD, Business in the Community, Financial Reporting Council and Equality and Human Rights Commission to participate