The death of George Floyd has prompted soul-searching across the US, not least in boardrooms. Big companies have rushed out messages saying that they, too, believe black lives matter. Those messages have been met with an understandably cynical response, with critics pointing to the near-complete absence of black people at the top of large corporates and the long-standing relative underrepresentation of the African-American population.

Just four Fortune 500 companies are run by black CEOs. In the UK, the picture is similarly bleak; the Parker review, set up to improve ethnic diversity on the boards of UK-listed businesses, revealed in February that 37% of companies in the FTSE 100 had no non-white board members...

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