Diversity

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Some of the most enterprising members of the UK community come from ethnic minorities. There are plenty of possible explanations, but whatever the cause they're not replicated in the accountancy profession. As Accountancy Age reports today of a survey on diversity it has undertaken of the top 50 firms in the UK:

A surprisingly large number of firms (almost 60%) declined to supply us with details of their ethnic makeup. Of those that did, the results paint a mixed picture. A total of 5.9% of partners stem from ethnic minorities.

The first statistic is perhaps the most worrying.

So too is the fact only 9.7% of partners were women. This may, of course, reflect rational behaviour on their part. The role of a partner is in many firms deeply unattractive. But as someone who never had a male professional partner throughout my time in partnership (indeed, at one time I was as senior partner the only man in my firm) I'd suggest there's something seriously wrong here as well.

The profession often talks about problems of retention and partner recruitment. It has to reform if it's to be attractive to the most likely source of new potential. Is it willing to do so?