Despite the number of female board positions at FTSE 100 and 250 increasing it is the FTSE 350 companies that are “lagging” behind.
This was discovered by the Government-commissioned Hampton Alexander Review, which is an independent body that works to increase the number of women in FTSE 350 boards.
The report showed that females on FTSE 100 boards have increased to 32.4 per cent from 30.2 per cent in 2018 with FTSE 250 boards increasing to 29.6 per cent from 24.9 per cent.
Jamie Mackenzie, director at Sodexo Engage said:
When it comes to gender equality, the FTSE 350 companies that are drastically falling behind are missing a trick. Having a diverse workplace is proven to boost several different business areas, and drive up profits. For one, the differing perspectives diversity brings means that more ideas are generated and, as a result, fewer opportunities are missed.
There’s lots of evidence that shows how young jobseekers in particular specifically look for employers with an inclusive culture, so having a balanced executive board is a great way to appeal to top talent. You can retain those employees for longer too, as women are more likely to stay in companies where they feel there is fair representation and where they’re not just managed by men in senior roles.
Teresa Boughey, CEO of Jungle HR said:
FTSE 100 looks set to achieve the target 33 per cent of Women on Boards by end of Dec 2020 and this year the FTSE 250 outperformed the FTSE 100 boards. There is a lag in the FTSE 350 and this is valid and should be highlighted but we also need to recognise the great strides which are being made.
Despite the report showing improvements, some still believe we have a long way to go.
Suki Sandhu OBE, founder and CEO INvolve said:
Despite this year being the strongest year of progress for representation of women on boards there is still a long way to go. When you consider that women make up almost 50 per cent of the population, there is a clear imbalance that needs to be corrected before the boards of our biggest companies reflect the society they serve.
While there are barriers to women climbing to the top of the career ladder – lack of talent is not an issue. Businesses need to be creating opportunities for women to excel in business, they need to be creating role models by celebrating individuals who show it’s possible to be female and successful, as well as those who are working to fuel the female talent pipeline. A strong talent pipeline is the only way we can ensure progress continues.
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.