The drive to get more women on corporate boards has come to a halt, according to a new report.
The research, published by The Pipeline, has found that the percentage of women on FTSE 350 executive committees has been stuck on 16 per cent as of April. This is the same level as recorded in the previous year.
The study also found that the number of companies that have no female presence on their executive committees has increased by eight on last year’s level.
This is far below the government’s latest target of a minimum of 33 per cent of female senior executives by 2020, set out by the Hampton-Alexander Review.
Increasing the number of women on boards has long been proven to increase business profitability.
The IMG have found that the more women in senior managerial positions and on corporate boards, the more profitable firms are. Adding one more woman in senior management or on a corporate board, while keeping the size of the board unchanged, is associated with eight to 13 basis points higher return on assets.
The Pipeline report also stated that, “169 FTSE 350 companies who had at least one woman on their Executive Committee have a better return on capital by, on average, a margin of 5.6 percentage points than those with none.
Commenting on the outcome of the research, Lorna Fitzsimons, The Pipeline’s co-founder, said, “With agendas dominated by Brexit, the focus on gender diversity at senior levels has been slipping.”
“In this climate of low growth, companies cannot miss out on this profit margin advantage.”