Top private firms have fewer women on boards than FTSE 100

The UK’s top private companies have even fewer women on their boards than their FTSE counterparts, according to a survey by BoardEx for The Observer newspaper.

The survey of the UK’s top 100 private companies found only 64 publish information on who is on their boards. Of those, 56% of boards have no women on them and 73% have no female executive directors.  Companies which have no women on their boards include Fitness First and Virgin Trains, whose CEO Sir Richard Branson has come out in favour of quotas for women on boards. Womenswear retailer New Look is among firms with no female executive directors.


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There are currently eight companies on the FTSE 100 which have no women on their boards and 28% of the FTSE 250 have only male directors. The House of Commons is debating a draft European directive on gender balance on company boards today.

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