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18th November 2019

Female representation in top roles shows ‘little sign of change’, says government review

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  • Female representation in top roles shows ‘little sign of change’, says government review

The UK’s top companies are still on track to meet the target of a third of women holding boardroom positions by 2020, but too little is still being done to help women progress into C-suite and other senior leadership roles, a government-backed review has found. The last annual report from the Hampton-Alexander Review found that last year was one of the strongest for progression since the government set its target of 33 per cent female representation on FTSE 350 boards back in 2011.

Almost a third (32 per cent) of all FTSE 100 board positions are now held by women, up from 30 per cent last year and 13 per cent in 2011. Women also now hold 30 per cent of FTSE 250 board positions, up from 25 per cent last year and only 8 per cent in 2011.  The review found that, if the same rate of progress continues next year, the FTSE 350 will be on track to meet its boardroom target by the end of 2020 deadline.

But the report said employers were still a way off meeting the separate target of 33 per cent representation across senior leadership roles. Of 923 senior positions held by women, including both executive and boardroom roles, only 25 had been appointed chair of their committee and fewer still were chief executives.

The report called for a “stronger focus” to address the imbalance and create gender parity in senior leadership roles of the UK’s top-listed businesses. In order to meet this target across senior leadership appointments, the report said that half of hires at this level next year need to go to women.