Consitent Growth but ….
UK companies are recruiting fewer women to boardrooms as gender diversity progress stalls for first time. Of the new recruits to UK boards in 2016, 29 per cent were women, down from 32.1 per cent in 2014 and 31.6 per cent in 2012, according to the Global Board Diversity Analysis report which is published every two years by recruitment firm Egon Zehnder.
It is the first time that the rate of improvement in gender diversity has declined in the UK since Egon Zender began collecting data in 2004.
However, the report said that the UK has achieved “consistent growth” in terms of the percentage of women on boards.
According to data compiled by the firm, there were no female executive board chairs in the UK last year, compared to a global average of 5%. The percentage of non-executive chairs on UK boards fell from 2% to 1%.
The percentage of committee positions held by women was more encouraging, at 24.7%, with 14.6% of them being chairmanship positions.
Moreover, 7.8% of UK chief executives were female in 2016, and 13.7% were chief financial executives. The global average was 3.8% and 10.5% respectively.
Gender parity 20 years away
In 2016, the average board size globally was 11.5, with an average of 2.1 female members.
If progress continues at the rate Egon Zender has seen globally over the last two years (1.6 percent per annum), the average number of women per board will reach three by 2021, while gender parity remains 20 years away.
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