The 30% Club celebrates having reached its 30% target for women on boards.
Thirty per cent of board positions in the FTSE 350 are now by women for the first time since the London Stock Exchange was established in 1571.
The latest figure is from the 30% Club which says 903 female directorships are held by women out of 3,008 positions in total. This compares to 12.5% of FTSE 100 board positions being taken by women and 9.5% of FTSE 350 boards in 2010 when the 30% Club was founded.
Brenda Trenowden, Global Co-Chair of the 30% Club, said: “I am extremely proud that we can say 30% of FTSE 350 boards are now female. This is an incredible milestone on the journey towards greater diversity and gender parity on company boards. The fact that we’ve met our 2020 target ahead of time means the narrative is working.
“Through our engagement with our member Chairs and CEOs, we have seen senior leadership amongst the world’s largest companies evolve for the better, lifting gender representation from a mere 9.5% for the FTSE 350 in 2010, to a much healthier 30.01% in 2019. It’s taken almost ten years to get here and I’d like to congratulate each and every committed Chair and CEO for their ongoing hard work in addressing gender disparity at the very highest levels within their companies. Business leadership is key to our mission, taking the issue beyond a specialist diversity effort and integrating it into enterprise-wide strategy development.”
Other organisations which have been focused on getting more women into senior positions are concerned, however, that much of the increase has been driven by non-executives rather than by women coming up through the ranks.The lack of women in senior positions is a major factor in the gender pay gap. They also point out that the figures are averages and some companies still lack any women on their boards.
Meanwhile, international law firm Allen & Overy released its gender pay gap figures for 2019 this week. They show the mean combined gender pay gap for UK partners and employees is now 61.5%, up from 61.2% last year. Eighty per cent of senior partners are men. While the pay gap among lawyers and senior lawyers has risen, the firm says the median and mean pay gaps for London employees improved this year, with the mean hourly pay for all male and female employees in London now 17.1% (down from 20% last year) and the average gender bonus gap is 40.3% (down from 45.3%). The firm says its focus for reducing the gender pay gap needs to be on improving the gender balance at the most senior levels of the business. It aims to have at least 30% women in the partnership selection process each year and wants at least 30% of its global partners to be women.