Review is optimistic about progress on women on boards

The Hampton-Alexander Review has published its latest figures on progress on boardroom gender diversity.



FTSE 250 companies could meet a target for women in senior leadership positions set up a government-backed review if current progress is maintained, according to new figures released today.

The figures from the independent Hampton-Alexander Review show that 32.1% of FTSE 100 board positions are now held by women, up from 12.5% in 2011. Meanwhile in the FTSE 250, figures have jumped from 24.9% to 27.5%. FTSE 350 is at 29.1%, up from 26.7%.  However, the figures also show that four companies in the FTSE 350 have all male boards, down from 152 in 2011. Fourteen companies in the FTSE 350 still have one or no women on their boards.

The four companies with all-male boards are Daejan Holdings, TR Property Investments, Ferrexpo and Kainos Group.

In March 2019, the Investment Association (IA) and the Hampton-Alexander Review jointly wrote to 69 companies in the FTSE 350 with one woman or less on their board, outlining concerns about the lack of gender diversity. Companies were asked to set out what actions the board is taking to ensure progress is made to meet the 2020 target of 33% female representation.

More than half of respondents recognised the benefits of board diversity and confirmed they are committed to achieving the target either by 2020 or in the near future. Fourteen companies have not responded to these letters and have been named by the review. They include Grafton Group Plc, Rank Group Plc and Telecom Plus Plc.

Launched in 2016, the Hampton-Alexander Review set FTSE 350 businesses a target of having 33% of all board and senior leadership positions held by women by the end of 2020. It also calls for FTSE 350 companies to increase number of women in roles of Chair, Senior Independent Director and into Executive Director positions on their boards.

The review says today’s figures show that if progress matches the same gains made over the last three years, then FTSE 100 companies are on track to meet the 2020 target.

Today also marks the opening of the portal for FTSE 350 companies to submit their senior leadership gender representation data to the Hampton-Alexander Review. Companies have until 31 July to lodge the gender split of their Executive Committee and the Direct Reports to the Executive Committee via the portal. The next full report from the review will be published in November.

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