Over the past few years boards have paid increasing heed to the importance of diversity and inclusion in the long-term success of their businesses. But the crisis we now face could undermine those efforts.
As many as a fifth of firms have made or are planning to make redundancies by the end of July as the government begins to wind down its furlough scheme - and there are strong reasons to think these will disproportionately hit women and minorities.
A widely-referenced Cambridge University study found that women were more likely to have lost their job in the first month of lockdown - 17 per cent reported unemployment compared to 13 per cent of men. At the same time, McKinsey research reveals that, while women and non-white workers were slightly more likely to lose their jobs in the comings months, younger and part-time employees were significantly more at risk.