FTSE 350 companies are urged to continue appointing senior female board members, in a government bid to increase diversity in the workplace.
A year on from the Hampton-Alexander Review, an update chaired by Sir Philip Hampton and the late Dame Helen Alexander has found FTSE companies are well on their well to achieving having a third of board members as women by 2020.
The original government-backed review urged FTSE 100 companies to ensure more women are appointed as board members to continue having a diverse business that isn’t predominantly men, as it has in the past. Now, Sir Hampton has extended this to FTSE 350 companies.
An update to the review has found that FTSE companies are well on the way to achieving the target of 33% by 2020, if they continue to make the progress they have over the past three years.
In his latest review Sir Hampton revealed almost 28% of
board positions across FTSE 100 companies are occupied by women, up by 12.5% since 2011. In addition to this staggering change, the number of all-make FTSE 350 company board members has dramatically reduced from 152 members to just 8.
He said: “Some of our largest companies have made significant progress towards meeting these challenging targets, both on boards and in their leadership teams. We should be seeing all FTSE companies now making strides to improve the gender balance at the top.
“We must now renew commitment to this important issue for UK business to fully harness the under-utilised potential of the many talented women in the workplace.”
Although there has been significant progress in the amount of women being appointed into board roles, to meet Sir Hampton’s target of 33% companies will have to fill at least 40% of senior positions with women over the next three years.
To achieve his goal, Sir Hampton said firms must increase the pace of appointment if they are to reach 33% by 2020 and redefine diversity into businesses.
Justine Greening, Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “Tackling inequality in the boardroom and ensuring more women get into senior leadership positions is not just good business sense, it is vital to our economy.
“The government is continuing to work with business to help remove the barriers that can hold women back in their careers. It is great to see some of our top companies really stepping up to address gender imbalances on their boards. We are making progress, but there is still a long way to go.”