Start-ups in danger of repeating boardroom diversity mistakes of their predecessors, says report

New businesses are worse for female representation at board level than the FTSE 100 firms, according to new research.

New digital and e-commerce businesses are worse for female representation at board level than the FTSE 100 firms, according to new research.

Research commissioned by approvedindex.co.uk, a business-to-business services market place, revealed the number of women on the boards of UK start-up firms from the Tech Track 100 is very low and has been on a continuous decrease since 2010.

The report highlights that whilst the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies have witnessed growth in female directors (to 22.8% and 15.6% respectively) start-ups across the UK have a meagre national average of 8.37%. Since 2010 the gap between the FTSE 100 companies and start-ups has quadrupled.

The report says that although start-ups are making some attempt to change the profile of the stereotypical director through appointing younger faces [the average board member age is 48], they continue to exclude women. It adds that start-up culture "appears to be repeating the diversity mistakes of their predecessors".

The region with the best representation of women on boards is the North West with 16.85% of board members being female, while the figure for London, which is where 41% of start-ups begin, is just 6.72%. Men are also more likely to serve on boards for longer in start-ups. The average duration of male tenure on the board is 46 months, compared to 38 months for women.

Trilby Rajna, of Approved Index said: “Our findings expose some really shocking trends of male superiority in the senior appointments of new businesses. It seems that despite start-up firms being heralded as the pioneers for innovation and technological advances, the inherent culture is far from progressive. Emerging entrepreneurs do not have the excuse of a history of bad cultural practices to latch on to. They should know better.”
 





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