Larger firms still failing on ethnic minority partners

Just 5.9% of partners out of a total of 20 firms returning the numbers, were
from ethnic minorities.

DTE Group and UHY Hacker Young have the best records, with 25% and 19%

Only two of the Big Four firms revealed the number of partners drawn from
ethnic minorities for this year’s survey, with neither Deloitte nor E&Y
providing figures.
disclosed a figure of 2% and KPMG 4%.

The Commission for Racial Equality this week told Accountancy Age
that the numbers were better than other industries, but that the figures ‘could
be better’.

The Big Four tend to hire from the country’s top 12 universities, which have
much smaller numbers of ethnic minority graduates than other universities, the
CRE said.

Statistics from the commission show more than 5,000 complaints from ethnic
minorities in the accountancy sector, of which 43% related to employment.
Complaints also included workplace bullying, lack of career progression and the
inability to secure interviews.

On the surface, the accountancy profession looks like it has improved
representation of ethnic minorities among partners – up to 5.9%, compared with
4% three years ago – but the figures are misleading, as they are bolstered by
ethnic representation of partners outside the Big Four.

For the industry as a whole, this means that one in 15 partners may be of an
ethnic minority – which compares well to the 7.9% of ethnic minorities currently
living and working in the UK.

A spokeswoman for the CRE said the discrepancy lay in the fact that the Big
Four aren’t representative while smaller firms are often exclusively Asian.
‘Their higher average pulls up the rest of the Top 50,’ she said.

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