The percentage of women holding FTSE 100 non-executive (NED) positions is at an all-time high of 33 per cent, according to a new report.
The Female FTSE report, by academics at Cranfield School of Management and Exeter University Business School, sponsored by Aviva and the Government Equalities Office, reveals that while the number of women being appointed to FTSE 100 boards has increased, few women are fulfilling senior roles on those boards.
While the percentage of women holding FTSE 100 NED positions is at a record high, the percentage of women holding executive directorships remains low, at just under ten per cent.
This year, six women hold Chair positions and a further 14 hold senior independent directorships on the FTSE 100.
Since June 2016, the percentage of women on FTSE 250 boards has risen from 20.4 per cent to 22.8 per cent and 242 companies have at least one woman on their boards.
However, there are still very few women in executive directorships across FTSE 250 boards – 38 in 2017, making 7.7 per cent less than the ten per cent on FTSE 100 boards.
As of October 2017, women account for just six of the CEO positions on FTSE 100 companies and ten of the CEO positions on the FTSE 250,
Professor Susan Vinnicombe CBE, Cranfield School of Management said, “While it is encouraging to see the significant increase in FTSE 100 non-executive director positions held by women over the past ten years, it is dispiriting to see that few of them move into senior roles.”
“Just eight per cent of women hold senior positions on boards, compared to 34 per cent of male non-executive directors.”
Professor Ruth Sealy from University of Exeter Business School who co-authored the report said, “In our board evaluator study, the more sophisticated behaviourally-focused evaluations were extremely clear about the considerable benefits of a critical mass of diversity affecting boardroom behaviour, culture and effectiveness.”
“They evidence this through the dynamics of better debate and decision-making.”
“Our unique findings should encourage more Chairs to strive for, and more investor to insist on, maximising the benefits of a critical mass of boardroom diversity.”