Top 10 worst excuses for not appointing women to boards published

The top 10 worst excuses for not appointing more women to the boards of FTSE 350 companies have been published today, including suggestions they are not able to understand the ‘extremely complex’ issues boards deal with and the idea women do not want the ‘hassle or pressure’ of sitting on a top board.

gender diversity

 

The explanations, which come from a range of FTSE 350 Chairs and CEOs, were heard by the team behind the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review, which has challenged all FTSE 350 companies to ensure at least a third of their board members and leadership are women by 2020.

The explanations include:

  1. ‘I don’t think women fit comfortably into the board environment’
  2. ‘There aren’t that many women with the right credentials and depth of experience to sit on the board – the issues covered are extremely complex’
  3. ‘Most women don’t want the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board’
  4. ‘Shareholders just aren’t interested in the make-up of the board, so why should we be?’
  5. ‘My other board colleagues wouldn’t want to appoint a woman on our board’
  6. ‘All the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up’
  7. ‘We have one woman already on the board, so we are done – it is someone else’s turn’
  8. ‘There aren’t any vacancies at the moment – if there were I would think about appointing a woman’
  9. ‘We need to build the pipeline from the bottom – there just aren’t enough senior women in this sector’
  10. ‘I can’t just appoint a woman because I want to’

The number of women on boards has more than doubled in the FTSE 350 since 2011 according to the most recent statistics were published in November. In that time, the number of all-male FTSE 350 company boards also fell from 152 to 10.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “It’s shocking that some businesses think these pitiful and patronising excuses are acceptable reasons to keep women from the top jobs. Our most successful companies are those that champion diversity.”

Chair of the Hampton-Alexander Review Sir Philip Hampton said: “Around a third of FTSE 350 companies still have very few women either on their boards or in senior leadership roles. We used to hear these excuses regularly a few years ago, thankfully much less so now.

However, leaders expressing warm words of support but actually doing very little to appoint women into top jobs – or quietly blocking progress – are really not much better.”

The latest figures for the number of women on FTSE 350 boards will be published on 27 June.

 



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