Leaders of top 20 accounting firms are white males

  • Just one of the UK’s 20 largest accounting firms is headed up by a CEO from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background
  • Just 15% of the leading institutions analysed has a female CEO

New analysis1 from Green Park and Operation Black Vote (OBV) reveals that only one of the UK’s 20 largest accounting firms is led by an executive with a Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background.  Just 15% of the leading firms in this sector are headed by a female CEO.

The Colour of Power research set out to explore who holds the top jobs in significant public, private and democratic institutions. The research shows leading accounting firms, which provide audit, tax and management consultancy to private, private and third sector organisations run by a cross-section of society have failed to develop strategies to ensure equitable representation from women and those of an ethnic minority background.

Rakesh Shaunak, Partner and Group Chairman at top 20 accounting firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson, is the only senior leader with a BAME background in the sample analysed.

Raj Tulsiani, CEO of Green Park, said: “The findings in the Colour of Power serve to underline the reasons why leaders are being confronted with a steady erosion of public trust in institutions that provide business advice. For many the absence of diversity in the accounting sector is a clear signal that firms don’t understand the need to modernise to reflect their customers.  The upper echelons of leadership within the UK’s accounting sector in no way resemble the diverse constituents of British society and it simply isn’t acceptable.”

Simon Woolley, Director of OBV, stated: “The findings are deeply troubling: accounting firms serve the whole business population and would be immeasurably more effective with a greater diversity of views to serve our increasingly multifaceted, multicultural society. By honestly recognising the challenge and effectively dealing with it, we will massively unleash potential talent which would benefit every aspect of our society.”

Overall, the findings within the Colour of Power paint a negative picture of opportunities for Britain’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to reach the very top jobs in the UK.

The research looked at 37 areas covering a broad spectrum of public, private and democratic institutions to see who holds the top jobs, and found that only 3.4% of the 1049 top posts were held by BAME individuals.  This means that Britain’s most powerful elite is 97% white, while their share of the population as a whole is 87%.

Please visit: http://www.thecolourofpower.com/