This year’s Hampton Alexander Review, published today shows the strongest year of progress since targets were first set in 2011:
- FTSE 100 on track to reach the 33% target for women on boards ahead of the 2020 deadline o FTSE 250 made strong gains during the year and with sustained effort, will also meet the 2020 deadline
- Last year’s challenge to “One & Done” boards is having an impact: there are 39 “this year, down from 74 with only 2 All-Male boards remaining
However, a step-change is needed for senior leadership roles below board level
50% of all appointments next year need to go to women, or the 2020 target will not be met.
The report shows that women now hold 32.4% of all FTSE 100 board positions, up from 30.2% last year and up from only 12.5% in 2011. The FTSE 100 is very close to meeting the 33% target for Women on Boards and will do so ahead of the 2020 deadline.
The report also shows that women hold 29.6% of all FTSE 250 board positions, up from 24.9% last year and only 7.8% in 2011. The FTSE 250 has had its strongest year yet and if the same rate of progress continues next year, the FTSE 350 will be on track to meet the 33% target by the end of 2020 deadline.
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.
Only two All-Male Boards remain
Following successful campaigning and pressure from investors in the year, “One & Done” boards have reduced from 74 to 39 this year. This includes 11 new entrants to the index but 28 companies feature for the second year running. Only two All-Male boards remain, down from 5 this time last year and 152 in 2011.
Sir Philip Hampton, Chair of the Review said:
This is the penultimate Hampton-Alexander Report and we enter our final year with great momentum behind us, but we are still a long way from reaching the target for women in senior leadership roles below board level.
Denise Wilson, Chief Executive of the Review said:
There are over 900 women now serving on FTSE 350 boards, providing an ever-increasing pool of women with substantial board experience, yet only 25 women have been appointed into the Chair role, even fewer as women CEOs and showing little sign of change.
The very senior jobs were always going to be the hardest of challenges, however a stronger focus is now required at every stage of the appointment process to address the reasons why top jobs aren’t going to women”
Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association said:
Investors have been consistent in their demands for greater diversity. It’s not just a nice to have. The research is clear: firms with diverse boards and management teams make better decisions, drive innovation and outperform their less diverse peers.”
Melanie Richards, Deputy Chair at KPMG UK said:
Behind the numbers and trends are hundreds of individual stories. Women who have overcome barriers that they should not have had to overcome, with leaders and boards who have worked hard to remove those barriers for current and future generations.”
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director general, said:
If all male boards are to become a thing of the past, firms must not take their foot off the pedal.”
She added that firms were “making less progress on the executive pipeline”.
We are still seeing too few women in senior leadership positions, whether as chief executive or running divisions.”