Firms are urged to ap­point more women to se­nior roles

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS -

A GOVERN­MENT-BACKED re­view has to­day urged FTSE 350 com­pa­nies to fill more board and se­nior lead­er­ship po­si­tions with tal­ented women in a bid to make the UK a world-leader in gen­der di­ver­sity.

Fig­ures pub­lished to­day in the Hamp­ton-Alexan­der Re­view 2017, chaired by Sir Philip Hamp­ton and the late Dame He­len Alexan­der, re­veal that al­most 28 per cent of board po­si­tions in FTSE 100 com­pa­nies are oc­cu­pied by women, which is up from 12.5 per cent in 2011. In that time the num­ber of all-male FTSE 350 com­pany boards fell to just 10 from 152.

A spokesman said: “This means that, with con­tin­ued ef­forts, FTSE 100 com­pa­nies are on course to meet the re­view’s 33 per cent tar­get for women on boards by 2020.”

How­ever, Sir Philip Hamp­ton to­day called on FTSE 350 com­pa­nies to quicken the pace of change on boards and ex­tended the 33 per cent tar­get to se­nior lead­er­ship po­si­tions of all FTSE 350 com­pa­nies. Pre­vi­ously this vol­un­tary tar­get only ap­plied to FTSE 100 firms.

He said that at least 40 per cent of ap­point­ments to se­nior po­si­tions will have to be filled by women over the next three years if FTSE 350 firms are to hit the am­bi­tious tar­gets.

Sir Philip said: “Some of our largest com­pa­nies have made sig­nif­i­cant progress to­wards meet­ing these chal­leng­ing tar­gets, both on boards and in their lead­er­ship teams. We should be see­ing all FTSE com­pa­nies now mak­ing strides to im­prove the gen­der bal­ance at the top. This year we have seen progress pick up on FTSE 100 boards and go slow else­where. We must now re­new our com­mit­ment to this im­por­tant is­sue for UK busi­ness to fully har­ness the un­der-utilised po­ten­tial of the many tal­ented women in the work­place.”

Busi­ness Min­is­ter Margot James said: “Busi­nesses have made great strides in re­cent years to in­crease se­nior fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion and now is a time for the busi­ness com­mu­nity to step up to the chal­lenge to make the UK a world leader on this im­por­tant is­sue.

“We have seen time and time again that our most suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies are those that cham­pion greater di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion, and our largest com­pa­nies are step­ping up their ef­forts on this is­sue in or­der to reap both the so­ci­etal and eco­nomic ben­e­fits.”

Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary and Min­is­ter for Women and Equal­i­ties Jus­tine Green­ing said: “Tack­ling in­equal­ity in the board­room and en­sur­ing more women get into se­nior lead­er­ship po­si­tions is not just good busi­ness sense, it is vi­tal to our econ­omy.

“It is great to see some of our top com­pa­nies step­ping up to ad­dress gen­der im­bal­ances. We are mak­ing progress, but there is still a long way to go. That is why we all need to do our bit to im­prove work­place equal­ity.”

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