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UK business leaders continue to lack diversity



A man checks a employment contract with a recruiter
Diversity first: many UK companies now turn to more mindful and intentional hiring | Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko

Out of the 29.5 million working professionals in the United Kingdom, only 14% come from minority or ethnic backgrounds. This disparity is even more apparent when exploring statistics from those in high leadership positions. For years, the UK has had a lack of representation among business leaders, highlighting an underlying diversity issue that is bigger than it seems. With these figureheads shaping the workforce and influencing other economic factors, finding ways to overcome this industry barrier is integral.

If you’re interested in learning how this issue affects the British employment landscape and what the UK is doing to address it, keep reading below.

The British workforce and diversity

The United Kingdom currently ranks within the top 10 most attractive overseas locations for migrant workers. Following the new guidelines brought by Brexit and an increase in post-graduation visas offered, the UK has become one of the most accepting places for foreign employees. However, other statistics show that this growth slows down as it goes up the corporate ladder. The same trends are similarly reflected among Brit workers of non-Caucasian descent.

Looking at the hiring process, almost 7 out of 10 UK companies state they are committed to removing any biases when recruiting. As hopeful as this seems, there is, unfortunately, a lack of a standard measurement system in which these companies can track their progress on this objective. Furthermore, only 26% of these companies evaluate organisational efforts on following equality, diversity, and inclusion goals. When it comes to equal access to training and development for promotion and leadership positions, the UK falters compared to other countries.

On the board and executive committee level of these companies, only 15% of the members self-identified as coming from ethnic or minority backgrounds. Moreso, the majority of these individuals still come from privileged socio-economic environments, highlighting the unlikelihood of working-class employees reaching top positions. This contributes to another issue in which British employees feel disengaged from their work. A lack of incentives and position stagnation have left many workers dissatisfied with their jobs.

The situation may even be more challenging for some populations, such as women. Although the rates of women board members peaked at 40% for the first time in 2023, at least 10 out of the 350 most prominent companies in the UK still had all-male teams. With this in mind, there is clearly still a long way to go. Fortunately, there have been recent concrete steps toward achieving progress.

How is this matter being addressed?

In order to combat the lack of representation, many UK companies now turn to more mindful and intentional hiring. For example, many companies are choosing to use executive recruitment solutions for their workforce. This is because professional recruiters utilise executive search methodologies that can uncover top candidates with outstanding leadership skills. With their unique qualifications, these in-demand recruits often come from a diverse talent pool and have the ability to overcome barriers and work their way up the corporate ladder. This is partly why diverse companies see a 2.5x higher cash flow for each employee.

Several initiatives to encourage companies to diversify, such as an equity index for the transport sector, have also been taking off. These are surveys that ask employees about the state of equality in their workplace. Companies that rank high will be rewarded with a prestigious certificate and a marketing badge, displaying their efforts towards inclusivity. Officials are encouraging other sectors to follow suit. With such an incentive in place, many are hopeful that this will encourage more decision-makers to value diversity in the workplace.

Slow and steady changes are also happening on the board level with the help of The Parker Review. This is an independent framework centred on the diversity of the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 Index, which is comprised of the biggest companies in the UK. Since the first report was published in 2016, 96 companies out of the FTSE 100 now have at least one director from a minority ethnic group.

All of these signify positive change within the British professional landscape. Although much still needs to be done, these developments are a clear step towards the right direction.

I am a blogger and a content creator regularly collaborating with news and industry media outlets to help businesses and entrepreneurs to enhance their PR, branding and online authority.


The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project announces 50 nominees



Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project
Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project

Earlier this year, on International Women’s Day 2023, Häagen-Dazs launched ‘The Rose Project’, a global initiative with a $100,000 (USD) bursary grant inviting nominations to recognise unsung trailblazing women in honour of the brand’s female co-founder Rose Mattus. Yesterday, 23 November, on what would have been Rose Mattus’ birthday, Häagen-Dazs announced the top 50 #WomenWhoDontHoldBack nominees being shortlisted for their achievements and its five globally accomplished Häagen-Dazs Rose Project judges.

Over 2,500 applications were received for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project putting forward pioneering efforts and societal contributions made by women across the globe. From these, 50 talented and inspirational women have been shortlisted and will be put forward to win one of five monetary grants of $20,000 (USD), which will be announced on International Women’s Day 2024, to continue their exceptional work, unleash their potential or give to a cause they are passionate about. The top 50 shortlist includes women from 17 countries hailing from across Europe, Asia, Africa & Middle East, Australia and the Americas.

The all-female judging panel from across the world has been handpicked for the final selection stage of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project includes. UK-based author, broadcaster and philanthropist Katie Piper, fashion entrepreneur and advocate for women’s fertility issues, Velda Tan from Singapore and Spanish entrepreneur and creative director Inés Arroyo, are amongst the judges.

“International Women’s Day 2023 marked the launch of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project to honour the legacy of our co-founder, Rose Mattus, and create a fund platform to provide opportunities to women across all fields around the world who are truly deserving of support and recognition. We were thrilled to receive thousands of nominations across countries and our #WomenWhoDontHoldBack Top 50 shortlist is a compelling and diverse mosaic of trailblazing female narratives that moved us and serve as an inspiration to women everywhere”, says Aurélie Lory, Häagen-Dazs spokesperson.

To find out more about the story of each entrepreneur shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project, visit:

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47% of women feel their workplace is not combatting inequality



Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal
Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 | Photo: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit

The proportion of women who feel that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality has nearly doubled in a year, a new survey has revealed.

Web Summit, the world’s largest technology event taking place in Lisbon this week, has released its third annual State of Gender Equity in Tech report, which is based on a survey distributed among its women in tech community.

76.1 percent of respondents feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position; fewer respondents (41.8 %) feel the need to choose between family and career when compared to 2022 (50.4 %); and there is at least one woman in a senior management position in 80.4 percent of respondents’ companies, a similar proportion to last year (81.3%).

The survey found that 70.5 percent of respondents feel pressure to prove their worth compared to male counterparts, while 77.2 percent feel they need to work harder to prove themselves because of their gender.

Over three quarters of respondents (76.1 %) feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position. And almost half of respondents think that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality, increasing from 26 percent in 2022 to 47
percent in 2023.

“While it is encouraging to see progress in some areas, such as those feeling the need to choose between their family and career, there are also some deeply concerning trends within this report. Seeing an increase in those who report having experienced sexism in the workplace in the last year is disheartening in 2023. We hope that this kind of research can breed some positives, and that it will push workplaces – and women within these workplaces – to broach these topics and make progress in these areas,” said Carolyn Quinlan, VP of community at Web Summit.

Last year, 42 percent of attendees at Web Summit were women and 33 percent of speakers were women. In 2023 these numbers have slightly improved with 43 percent of attendees and 38 percent of speakers on stage being women this year.

The women in tech programme at this year’s Web Summit is at capacity, and the women in tech programme at Web Summit Rio 2023 reached capacity in record time.

The WebSummit 2023 is running from November 13th to 16th in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Krispy Kreme to give away free donuts on World Kindness Day



A box of Krispy Kreme donuts opened and with donuts inside
The company, founded in 1937, is giving away 60,000 free doughnuts around the world today | Photo: Clément Proust

American multinational doughnut company and coffeehouse chain, Krispy Kreme, is celebrating “World Kindness Day” today by distributing free donuts in the US and the UK.

The chain is giving away a box of a dozen glazed donuts for free with no purchase necessary. But only the first 500 guests that visit each participating Krispy Kreme US stores on “World Kindness Day”, Monday November 13th, will be able to get a free box of donuts.

Krispy Kreme often gives away free or discounted donuts to generate buzz on special occasions. The company, founded in 1937, traditionally gives out free donuts to customers on National Donut Day, celebrated on the first Friday of June of each year. And in July, a dozen of glazed donuts were sold for 86 cents to celebrate its 86th birthday.

Thousands of free donuts are also expected to be given away today across Krispy Kreme stores in the United Kingdom, with customers being encouraged to ask for the World Kindness Day offer. No purchase necessary.

The company, which operates in over 30 countries around the world, said it wants the brand associated with World Kindness Day to make “meaningful connections” with customers.

“World Kindness Day is an opportunity to make a positive difference by being generous,” Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme’s global chief brand officer, said in a release. “Simple gestures of caring and thanks, including sharing a sweet treat, is a great way to do that.”

Krispy Kreme said that it’s considering expanding a limited partnership it has with McDonald’s to sell more of its donuts at the latter’s location.

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