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Inside the corporate world’s great diversity and inclusion project

Corporate diversity programmes are rising—and have become a flashpoint in the culture wars. But are they working?

In 2017, the Parker Review, an independent government-backed report, laid down a simple challenge to Britain’s FTSE 100 companies: to appoint at least one—“just one”—director from an ethnic minority background by the end of 2021, with a slightly more distant deadline of 2024 for smaller FTSE 250 boards.

The report had discovered that over 50 per cent of FTSE 100 companies had no ethnic minority directors. Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) board members made up just 8 per cent of the UK’s total, while the UK BAME population is 14 per cent. But even worse, if you only consider British BAME citizens, thereby excluding…

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