Study: Female director numbers growing in UK

Skyscrapers are seen at Canary Wharf financial district in London, October 26, 2015. According to The Hampton-Alexander Review, a total 32.4 per cent of all board positions at companies trading on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index are held by women, up from 30.2 per cent last year. — Reuters pic
Skyscrapers are seen at Canary Wharf financial district in London, October 26, 2015. According to The Hampton-Alexander Review, a total 32.4 per cent of all board positions at companies trading on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index are held by women, up from 30.2 per cent last year. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Nov 13 — The number of female directors at top UK companies increased in 2019 but more is needed to correct an overall gender imbalance in leadership, a report showed today.

A total 32.4 per cent of all board positions at companies trading on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index are held by women, up from 30.2 per cent last year, according to The Hampton-Alexander Review.

The ten-year Review, launched in 2011, is on track to meet its target of 33 per cent of all FTSE 100 board directors being women by 2020.

“If this progress continues into 2020, our targets for women on boards will be met,” said the Review’s chair Philip Hampton.

“Whilst this is a key indicator of change at the top, strengthening the number of women in executive positions is critical to achieving long-term gender balance.”

He added: “We are still a long way from reaching the target for women in senior leadership roles below board level. Unless half of all appointments made this year go to women, our target for 2020 is not going to be met.”

The data, which was collated in mid-October, also showed that 29.6 per cent of board roles on companies listed on London’s second-tier FTSE 250 index are held by women.

That was up considerably from 24.9 per cent the previous year.

The Review’s chief executive, Denise Wilson, said “strong foundations have been laid and significant progress has been made since the journey began in earnest in 2011”.

She added: “The very senior jobs were always going to be the hardest of challenges, however a stronger focus is now required at every stage of the appointment process to address the reasons why top jobs aren’t going to women.” — AFP

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