One in every two FTSE 100 executive appointments over the next year will have to go to a woman if the UK is to meet targets to tackle the gender imbalance across British business by 2020, a report has warned.
A change at the UK’s biggest listed companies is needed if they are to hit a key metric where women make up at least a third of executive-level leadership teams by the end of next year.
The latest conclusion from the government-commissioned Hampton-Alexander review means more women to be in key positions as Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer or Chief Operating Officer. The review has two targets: one for executive committees and one for board positions that includes a company’s chair, non-executives and the chief executive and finance chief. The other one is likely to be met ahead of the deadline. Women accounted for 32% of those roles across the FTSE 100 by October, up from 30% a year earlier and 12.5% in 2011.
The report showed that 28.6% of women were in executive leadership roles across the FTSE 100 by the time the data was collected this summer. That number was even lower across the FTSE 250 at 27.9%.
It applauded 10 companies for their performance, including Burberry, ITV, Whitbread and pharmaceuticals firm GSK, which has been led by chief executive Emma Walmsley since 2017. British American Tobacco, as well as miners Glencore, Antofagasta and Fresnillo were among the worst performers for having women in executive leadership positions.
There are just six female chief executives in the FTSE 100, including Alison Rose, who became the first woman to lead one of Britain’s biggest banks after taking on the top job at Royal Bank of Scotland on 1 November.
“Not all companies are making the same efforts, and the gap between those working hard to improve gender balance and those doing little, is each year more obvious,” the report said.
There are still 44 all-male executive committees across the FTSE 350, down from 50 a year earlier. However, there are now just two all-male-boards: property firm Daejan Holdings and software company Kainos Group. That is down from 152 all-male boards in 2011.