Five-year review set to increase number of women on FTSE boards

December 10th 2021 | Posted by Dave

Five-year review set to increase the number of women on FTSE boards

Five-year review set to increase number of women on FTSE boards

The government has announced plans to carry out more work around addressing gender inequality at board level. There will be a new five-year review details of which are yet to be fully revealed.

The announcement of this new work follows the successful Hampton Alexander review. The aim is to increase opportunities for women on FTSE boards. Experts are suggesting that there should be a focus on specific roles held by women with a view to boosting the number of women in executive director roles.

Although the new review is in its early stages, FTSE firms are already welcome to submit information concerning gender diversity. Targets will be set in due course.

What has been achieved so far?

The Hampton Alexander review was the forerunner to this new research announced by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It is seen as having been a success. The main target of the review was to have a third of all FTSE 350 board positions filled by women. This target has been achieved as the figure for board roles in FTSE 100 companies has reached 36.2% and the figure for board roles in FTSE 250 companies has reached 33.2%.

These figures mean that over the five years of the Hampton Alexander review there has been a 50% increase in the number of women on FTSE boards.

There is no doubt that this represents success. But some experts believe the type of board role that women have is just as important as the number of women on boards. For example, even though non-executive directors have a significant amount of influence, focussing on executive positions my prove more valuable in securing better diversity overall.

It’s not yet clear whether this type of focus will actually be part of the review. There is also another part of the story which involves more than representation.

Improving representation is only part of the story

There have been calls for any targets set regarding women’s representation on boards to be part of a wider piece of work. Other areas that need to be looked at are flexible working, childcare considerations, and the gender pay gap.

Experts feel that only when all relevant areas are taken into account will gender inequality really be addressed. This will be of great benefit not only to individuals but to companies that have a truly diverse ethos.

Great improvements have already been made when it comes to increasing gender diversity at board level. It’s hoped that the new five-year review will help to keep the momentum going. This will include further increasing the number of women on FTSE boards.

As the scope of the review becomes clearer it’s hoped that it will also assist with addressing gender inequality at board level overall. There is a clear opportunity to make this happen and only time will tell how successful this new examination and scrutiny of the situation will be in helping to create truly diverse FTSE boards.

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