EMpower advocates of ethnic diversity
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
The EMpower 15 advocates are senior leaders who are not from an ethnic minority themselves, but set an example in working to create an inclusive environment for those who are.
This year the judges picked David Tyler, chairman of UK retailer J Sainsbury and one of the most senior nominees, to top the 2018 list of role models.
Advocate: David Tyler
Chairman David Tyler wants to make J Sainsbury the most inclusive UK retailer “where every single one of our colleagues can fulfil their potential and where customers feel welcome when they shop with us”. He agreed to co-chair Sir John Parker’s review of the ethnic makeup of UK boards because he wanted to understand the lack of diverse leadership in British business.
The Parker review recommended that each FTSE 100 company have at least one director from an ethnic minority background by 2021. Sainsbury’s has one board member of colour, Jean Tomlin. In making appointments, he says the retailer looks for people with specific business skills, combined, where possible, with a diverse background. “No shareholder will thank you for having a perfectly balanced board if that company is [later] going to get into trouble.”