New research indicates black and minority ethnic (BAME) employees face routine discrimination by what’s described as an “institutionally racist old boys network” running some of Britain’s largest companies.
Anuranjita Kumar, who carried out the research and is head of international hubs at RBS, says she had plenty of personal experience of this when she worked in investment banking.
She points out that while 14% of the population are classed as black and minority ethnic, only 6% of director-level posts at FTSE 100 companies are held by such employees, and the situation has deteriorated in recent years.
She also thinks the issue of social class makes things worse.
“Largely, people in power are looking for people who look similar or are similar to them,” she tells Wake up to Money.
“So if you look at some of the CEO positions you will find boys from Eton or Oxbridge, and they’re looking for the same.”
She says her experience showed it “takes a huge amount of effort” to recruit people from different types of backgrounds.
However, she is against setting quotas. She says there needs to be a combination of a push from government, and incentives offered for the firms.