Number of female bosses hits disappointing low

<strong>Just four FTSE 100 companies' boards feature at least as many women as men, a government-backed review recently found.</strong>

A total of five British FTSE 350 firms still have only male board members and one in four have only appointed one woman, figures contained within the Hampton-Alexander Review showed. It also identified five companies with no women on the board as real estate group Daejan Holdings, hotel operator Millennium & Copthorne, lender Amigo Holdings, Herald Investment Trust and JP Morgan Japanese Investment Trust. Since the report was compiled, Amigo has appointed a woman to its board.

Despite concerns about these companies, it was a big improvement on the 152 all-male boards in February 2011. A year ago the number of female bosses was eight. Yet the review, led by Glaxosmithkline chairman Sir Philip Hampton, also found that the number of women on FTSE 100 boards has exceeded 30 per cent for the first time.

In the FTSE 100, four companies – Next, Rightmove, Hargreaves Lansdown and Taylor Wimpey – have 50 per cent or more women on their boards.
The key recommendations of the review are for all FTSE 350 firms to hit a 33 per cent target for women on FTSE 350 boards by the end of 2020, and the same representation on executive committees and direct reports.

According to research by management consulting firm McKinsey, bridging the gender pay gap could add £150bn to the UK economy by 2025.

Sir Philip said,

Over 100 FTSE 350 companies have already achieved or exceeded – the 33 per cent target for women on boards, with a further 50 companies well on their way. I would like to thank the business leaders and stakeholders that have driven progress in recent years for their significant and collective contribution. At the same time, too many companies still have a long way to go. I am also delighted to see an increase in the number of women in the all-important senior leadership roles and companies working hard for some time now, delivering clear results”.

Penny Mordaunt, minister for women and equalities, said,

When women are included we know that businesses are more likely to enjoy profits above their industry averages. Today, we can see that the top UK companies are taking action, not just because gender equality is morally right, but also because it makes good business sense.

Are you interested in diversity at work? Take a look at the programme for our diversity conference running in April 2019.

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