Twenty nine per cent of FTSE 100 board positions are held by women, but the rate of progress in FTSE 350 countries is significantly slower, according to new data.
Figures released today by the Hampton-Alexander Review, show 305 positions – 29% of FTSE 100 board positions – are held by women, up from 12.5% in 2011.
Launched in 2016, the government-backed 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 says today’s figures show FTSE 100 companies are on track to meet the 2020 target.
However, the announcement also revealed that while the number of women on boards has increased to 25.5% in FTSE 350 companies, around 40% of all appointments need to go to women in the next two years for the FTSE 350 to achieve the 33% target.
While some FTSE 350 companies are on track to meet the government-backed targets for women on boards, it says others are lagging behind. Ten companies have no female directors, although more than 80 companies have already reached the 33% target.
The Hampton Alexander review also announced the opening of a gender data portal for FTSE 350 companies to measure progress on getting women into executive and leadership positions. Progress made on women in executive and leadership roles will be revealed in November.
The Investment Association (IA) is working with investors to achieve better gender representation in the boardroom. In April 2018, the IA and the Hampton-Alexander Review wrote to 35 FTSE 350 companies who were falling short on their gender diversity targets.
Chief Executive of the Investment Association Chris Cummings said: “The dial has shifted: gender diversity is now front and centre of investors’ minds. Firms with a diverse management team and pipeline make better decisions, so this is a business-critical issue.
“Companies must demonstrate that they have diverse management teams or have concrete plans to increase diversity, or face possible shareholder revolt.”
The Government says that bridging the gender pay gap could add £150 billion to the UK economy by 2025. Many companies reporting their gender pay gap earlier this year explained that the pay gap was due to insufficient women in senior roles, and/or a predominance of women in lower paid work.