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How diverse is your pipeline? Developing the talent pipeline for women and black and ethnic minority employees

Carol Stewart (Abounding Solutions, London, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 1 February 2016




Research shows that companies with a diverse leadership perform better financially. Having a diverse board encourages constructive and challenging dialogue which is key to the effective functioning of any board. However, in the UK, women and black and minority ethnic (BAME) employees still lag behind when it comes to representation at senior management and board level. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of having a diverse talent pipeline of women and BAMEs and offer practical solutions on how this can be achieved.


A mixture of data, analysis, experience and practice forms the basis of the paper, drawing from research on diversity, leadership development, executive boards and developing the talent pipeline. It looks at current initiatives being used in organisations to develop aspiring leaders.


Executive boards are ill representative of the diversity of the working population. Having diversity in the boardroom allows for rich dialogue and better business decisions. In order to address the issue, organisations need to develop a talent pipeline that includes women and BAMEs. There are practical solutions that can be applied to achieve this. Not only does this make good business sense from an economical perspective, it also helps to maintain empowered, motivated and engaged employees.


This paper outlines initiatives that organisations can apply to develop the talent pipeline for women and BAME employees and in doing so, retain high performing, aspiring leaders, whilst supporting action to increase diversity and inclusion in the boardroom.



Stewart, C. (2016), "How diverse is your pipeline? Developing the talent pipeline for women and black and ethnic minority employees", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 48 No. 2, pp. 61-66.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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