The accounting profession’s watchdog has called on the sector to increase diversity at the most senior levels of management.
The Financial Reporting Council’s report and its observations come as City firms have been forced to consider the lack of ethnic diversity within their ranks as Black Lives Matter protests erupted following the death of George Floyd at the hands of US police officers in May.
In a 13 October statement, the regulator’s report “Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession for 2019” found that only 20% of partner positions are held by women.
People from Black, Asian and minority backgrounds make up only 6.7% of partner roles at the largest firms. No firm with less than 200 employees reported that they had BAME managers. The regulator also said that it has observed a decrease in the number of bodies collecting diversity data in respect of disability and race/ethnicity.
However, the watchdog said it is “encouraging” that women now make up 50% of all students at the professional bodies.
“Firms have a responsibility to ensure they are leading by example on diversity and inclusion and that they have appropriate policies in place to address any shortcomings,” said the FRC’s chief executive Jon Thompson in a statement.
“While this year’s findings reveal that some progress has been made, firms without meaningful policies in place are dropping the ball.”
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