Meager 15% of FTSE 100 finance directors are women, according to UK Govt data

Maria Nikolova

The number of all-male executive committees in the FTSE 350 is currently 44, largely unchanged from 2018.

Data published by the UK Government over the weekend reveal that approximately one third of all board positions in the UK’s FTSE 100 companies are now held by women. This means that a key target of the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review has been met almost one year early.

However, figures from the Review highlight a concerning lack of female representation in senior leadership and key executive roles in FTSE companies – for instance, meager 15% of FTSE 100 finance directors are women.

Women’s representation by key functional role in the FTSE 100:

  • 66% human resource director;
  • 40% company secretary;
  • 37% general counsel & company secretary;
  • 29% general counsel;
  • 17% chief information officer;
  • 15% finance director.

The Review shows that further work is needed for many FTSE 100 companies individually, and for the FTSE 250 overall to meet the 33% target, as it currently sits at 29.5%.

Research produced exclusively for the Review by the Global Institute for Women Leadership at King’s College London also shows women 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% of women reported someone at work had made disrespectful or insulting remarks about them, compared to 13% of men;
  • 23% of women reported that they had been shouted or sworn at by someone at work, compared to 16% of men;
  • 34% of women reported someone at work had ignored or failed to speak to them, or given them the “silent treatment” compared to 23% of men;
  • 39% of women reported being targeted by angry outbursts or “temper tantrums” by someone at work, compared to 23% of men.

Let’s note that 29.5% of FTSE 250 board positions are currently held by women. Recent progress indicates the 33% target is on track to be met by the end of 2020. The number of all-male executive committees in the FTSE 350 is currently 44 and remains largely unchanged from 2018.

Let’s recall that, back in June 2019, online trading company Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS), a constituent of FTSE 250, came under fire over insufficient Board diversity. The company noted the desire of certain shareholders to see greater diversity on the Board, particularly around female representation.

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