FTSE 350 companies are being urged to fill senior positions with more women, in order to make the UK a world leader on gender diversity.
A government-backed review is urging companies to renew their commitment to diversity, filling more board and senior leadership positions with talented women.
Figures published today in the Hampton-Alexander Review 2017, chaired by Sir Philip Hampton and the late Dame Helen Alexander, revealed that almost 28 per cent of board positions in FTSE 100 companies are occupied by women – up from 12.5 per cent in 2011.
In this time, the number of all-male FTSE 350 company boards fell to just eight from 152. This means that, with continued efforts, FTSE 100 companies are on course to meet the review’s 33 per cent target for women on boards by 2020.
However, Sir Philip Hampton called on FTSE 350 companies to quicken the pace of change on boards and extended the 33 per cent target to senior leadership positions of all FTSE 350 companies. Previously, this voluntary target only applied to FTSE 100 firms.
Hampton said that at least 40 per cent of appointments to senior positions will have to be filled by women over the next three years if FTSE 350 companies are to hit the ambitious targets.
Sir Philip Hampton said, “Some of our largest companies have made significant progress towards meeting these challenging targets, both on boards and in their leadership teams.”
“We should be seeing all FTSE companies now making strides to improve the gender balance on top.”
“This year we have seen progress pick up on FTSE 100 boards and go slow elsewhere.”
“We must now renew commitment to this important issue for UK business to fully harness the under-utilised potential of the many talented women in the workplace.”
Business Minister Margot James said, “Businesses have made great strides in recent years to increase senior female representation and now is a time for the business community to step up to the challenge to make the UK a world leader on this important issue.”
“We have seen time and time again that our most successful companies are those that champion greater diversity and inclusion, and our largest companies are stepping up their efforts on this issue in order to reap both the societal and economic benefits.”
You can read the report here.