FTSE 100 boards hit gender target but miss BAME

A third of all FTSE 100 board positions are now held by women, a government-backed target that has been hit almost a year early, this follows the news that the same companies are most likely to miss their Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) targets by 2021. 

The Hampton-Alexander Review has revealed that women make up 33 per cent of FTSE 100 boards, with Andrea Leadsom, the business secretary stating this is “fantastic work” especially considering the review has been achieved on an entirely voluntary basis and no legislation has been enforced.

Also, two-thirds (66 per cent) of HR directors are women at FTSE 100 companies, the highest amount of females in a part of the businesses. The FTSE 250 female at board level currently sits at 29.5 per cent.

However, the review also found that women are less represented in senior positions and key executive roles.

The Global Institute for Women Leadership at King’s College London also shows women are facing everyday sexism in the workplace, with examples including higher reports of insults or angry outbursts directed at women compared to men.

King’s College surveyed almost 350 men and women at board or executive committee level and found that:

  • 33 per cent of women reported someone at work had made disrespectful or insulting remarks about them, compared to 13 per cent of men
  • 23 per cent of women reported that they had been shouted or sworn at by someone at work, compared to 16 per cent of men
  • 34 per cent of women reported someone at work had ignored or failed to speak to them, or given them the “silent treatment” compared to 23 per cent of men
  • 39 per cent of women reported being targeted by angry outbursts or “temper tantrums” by someone at work, compared to 23 per cent of men.


Andrea Leadsom, Business Secretary, said:

The Hampton-Alexander Review has done fantastic work.

But it’s clear that women continue to face barriers to success, whether that’s through promotion to key roles or how they are treated by colleagues.

Businesses must do more to tackle these issues and we will support them in doing so, including through our world leading reforms to workplace rights.

Denise Wilson, CEO of Hampton-Alexander Review, said:

Half of all available appointments to FTSE 350 leadership roles need to go to women in 2020, not only to meet the 33 per cent voluntary target, but to ensure UK business fully benefits from diverse perspectives and is availing itself of the whole talent pool.

Dr Jill Miller, diversity and inclusion adviser at the CIPD, said:

Reaching the target set in the Hampton-Alexander review a year early shows strides are being made with female representation in UK boardrooms.

But beneath the headline figures, there is still much work needed – not least with addressing the imbalance between female representation in executive roles compared with non-executive positions. Women are still underrepresented in operational roles which have day-to-day influence on the organisation culture and decision-making power.

Occupational segregation is also clearly apparent in the top jobs and needs to be addressed through long-term investment in talent pipelines, as well as through identifying the barriers preventing women reaching those top leadership positions.

Interested in diversity and inclusion. We recommend the Diversity & Inclusion Conference 2020.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.