FTSE100 firms rally behind Change the Race Ratio

The Change the Race Ratio 2023 Progress Report revealed that campaign signatories were taking action to increase representation in business leadership and data transparency.  The report showed that FTSE350 firms increased senior management representation by 25% compared to 12 months prior and on data and reporting, 32% planned to report their ethnicity pay gaps for the first time and an impressive 59% were already reporting.  This is in contrast to recent studies that show that only around 2% of firms in the UK with more than 250 staff are reporting their ethnicity pay gaps.   

To support plans for 2024, on January 1st, senior representatives from Auto Trader, Shell UK and Spirax-Sarco Engineering joined the Steering Committee for Change the Race Ratio, the leading campaign to increase ethnic and racial minority representation at the top of UK PLC.  Steering Committee members play a crucial role in shaping and helping to deliver the campaigning organisation’s strategy and future plans.

In 2024 to enable further progress Change the Race Ratio will continue to provide a space for Chairs and CEOs to connect and access practical support for change.  In addition, they will launch a new leadership development programme, aimed at increasing the pipeline of leaders from underrepresented groups.  To encourage more firms to start reporting their ethnicity pay gaps, Change the Race Ratio will publish a guide to help firms navigate their first report and make best use of the insights from the newly collected data.  

Change the Race Ratio, which is championed by the Parker Review, was founded by Lord Karan Bilimoria in 2020 and is now chaired by Sir Trevor Phillips.  Over 100 leading businesses are signatories and are working to achieve their four commitments to change. 

In September 2023 Change the Race Ratio, executed the long-term plan to separate from the CBI and began operations as an independent organisation. The addition of Auto Trader, Shell UK and Spirax-Sarco Engineering to the Steering Committee secures one of the key strategic objectives of independence; to strengthen the role it plays with the FTSE350 business community.

Sir Trevor Phillips, Chair, Change the Race Ratio comments

“Since being appointed as Chair in September, we’ve worked together to set the vision and ambition for the organisation.  Change the Race Ratio is the space for leaders to connect, learn from each other and access practical solutions to the business challenges they face.  Expanding the steering committee was a crucial step to ensure we deliver on our plans.  All three businesses have been signatories for a long time, we’ve been working with their CEOs and wider executive team, and we have witnessed their determination to improve diversity in senior leadership.”

Representing the three new businesses on the steering committee are;

Christos Tsaprounis, People and Culture Director, Auto Trader
Bhavin Kotecha, VP HR, Shell UK
Darren Towers, Group Head of Inclusion, Equity and Wellbeing, Spirax-Sarco Engineering

The diversity statistics for the steering committee including the new appointments are;

Racial or Ethnic Minority Background 52%
Male 42%
Female 58%

Richard DeNetto CEO, Change the Race Ratio comments 

“We go into 2024 with a clear set of objectives and ambitions for Change the Race Ratio.  Our plans will support firms to achieve both their Change the Race Ratio and Parker Review requirements.  The addition of three FTSE100 businesses to the Steering Committee is a huge boost, the experience the individuals bring will be invaluable. To the FTSE350 CEOs who aren’t signatories yet, I invite you to join us and access a community of leaders to ask questions and share best practice to make progress towards your newly made Parker targets for Executive leadership”

Bhavin Kotecha, VP HR, Shell UK comments on why he and Shell UK have joined the Steering Committee

“Shell is committed to becoming one of the most diverse and inclusive organisations in the world. In the UK, we voluntarily share our ethnicity pay gap data and have worked successfully with Change the Race Ratio for several years. I’m looking forward to joining the campaign group’s steering committee, which has an opportunity to increase racial and ethnic minority representation in boardrooms and leadership teams across UK business.”

On his appointment Christos Tsaprounis, People and Culture Director, Auto Trader, said

“There is so much power in collaborating with businesses across industries and the Change the Race Ratio Steering Committee is a brilliant opportunity to work together and accelerate race equity. Auto Trader has supported the campaign since the beginning, and we are excited for this next important step to increase representation and inclusion.”   

Darren Towers, Group Head of Inclusion, Equity and Wellbeing, Spirax-Sarco Engineering comments 

“Working with the Change the Race Ratio campaign since it began has been a fantastic way to learn, share experience and progress our race equity journey. When we attract, develop and retain great colleagues from all backgrounds and when we all understand, celebrate and know how to support each other, we ensure individual and business success that creates more opportunities for everyone. Continually progressing on race equity, and inclusion more broadly, is something that is best done in collaboration with others, so we are delighted to be part of the Change the Race Ratio Steering Committee and are very much looking forward to making our difference together.” 

Later this year the next Parker Review publication will be released. This will be the first report since firms have had to submit their targets for senior management representation, and for many this is the first time they have set targets.  Change the Race Ratio signatories have been doing this since 2020 as a result have a unique insight and a data set on targets and actions that work to drive change. Join Change the Race Ratio today a join a community to help you and your business take the next step on the journey to race equity.    

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