Latest figures: FTSE 350 could fall short of women on boards target

26 June 2018 -

women boardroomCMI Women calls the current number of female business leaders ‘not good enough’

CMI Insights

FTSE 350 companies could fall short of the 33% diversity target they were encouraged to achieve by 2020 in the Hampton-Alexander Review – a Government-backed report from 2016.  

Updated figures released on 27 June 2018 by the Hampton-Alexander Review show that while the proportion of women on FTSE 100 boards is now 29%, this figure is just 25.5% for FTSE 350 companies. It means that almost one in two (around 40%) of all appointments need to go to women in the next two years for the target to be met. 

Heather Melville OBE CCMI, chair of CMI Women, has called the figures “just not good enough”. She said:

“Why is it that in 2018 achieving gender diversity in our leadership teams is not being made a business priority? Those employers lagging behind risk being outperformed by 21% compared to their competitors with diverse leadership teams.

“FTSE 350 companies should treat this as they would any other business initiative – set transparent targets for getting more women into senior roles, embrace necessary cultural changes and importantly, track the results. As we’ve seen with the gender pay gap reporting regulations, transparency provides the ability to benchmark progress. After all, what gets measured gets managed.”
Melville has called those women in senior leadership positions ‘role models’ for the next generation. 

“These women at the top of the ‘glass pyramid’ are the role models that the 66% of women in junior management roles need to inspire them, and to ensure companies are developing a pipeline of future female leaders,” she added.

The Government has backed the report, as it believes that tackling the Gender Pay Gap will boost the British economy by £150bn by 2025. The difference in the mean pay between men and women at companies with more than 250 employees was attributed to the disproportionate number of women in low-level roles. It is hoped that transparency and targets for progression will improve diversity.

In the CMI’s own report Blueprint for Balance, the Chartered Management Institute called on gender equality to become a business issue: it insisted that 50% of business leaders should be female. 

Read more: These were the views of business leaders at the CMI Gender Pay Gap Debate

Heather Melville OBE CCMI is chair of CMI Women. Find out more about the CMI Women network.

Image: Shutterstock

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