A government backed review has urged FTSE 350 companies to fill more board and senior leadership positions with talented women. This could help the UK become a world-leader on gender diversity at the top of business.
The review revealed the good news that the FTSE 100 companies are already on track to meet their target of having one third of board positions held by women by 2020. The number of women on company boards has actually doubled since 2011.
This new report has found that almost 28 percent of board positions in the FTSE 100 companies are occupied by women – a jump from 12.5 percent in 2011. During that time the number of all male FTSE 350 boards dramatically dropped from 152 to just 10.
So if FTSE 350 companies are going to hit the target of 33 percent female leadership positions held then they’ll need to make sure at least 40 percent of appointments to senior positions are filled by women, says Sir Philip Hamilton.
Sir Philip Hamilton, heading the review board, said: “Some of our largest companies have made significant progress towards meeting these challenging targets, both on boards and in their leadership teams. We should be seeing all FTSE companies now making strides to improve the gender balance at the top.”
Margot James, business minister, said: “We have seen time and time again that our most successful companies are those that champion greater diversity and inclusion, and our largest companies are stepping up their efforts on this issue in order to reap both the societal and economic benefits.”
Lady Barbara Judge CBE, chairman of the institute of directors, said: “The next challenge is to create a step-change in the proportion of senior executive positions held by women. In this way, we can build a pipeline of female talent to consolidate and build on the improvements we seen in the last few years.”