It’s estimated that bridging the UK gender gap in work has the potential to increase GDP by £150 billion by 2025, and increasing the number of women on company boards is seen as an important part of that process. However, many boards still lack significant numbers of women.
To fulfil this policy promise, we are looking for government-backed efforts to promote the recruitment of women to corporate leadership positions.
The government continues to support the independent Hampton-Alexander Review initiated in 2016, whose target is to have 33% of board positions at FTSE 350 companies (the 350 most prosperous UK companies) held by women by 2020.
Although the top 100 FTSE companies seem on track to achieve that goal (women on boards made up 30.2% of members in October 2018), there are concerns that the FTSE 350 may struggle to follow suit; 5 boards are still all-male, and half of all leadership appointments would need to go to women by 2020 in order for the target to be reached.
The government has also backed the Women’s Business Council, whose Men as Change Agents initiative, encourages men to become active in increasing the proportion of women in corporate leadership roles.
The policy promises to “push for” an increase in the number of women on boards without mentioning specific targets. We are marking this as ‘done’, because efforts have been made and progress demonstrated, despite the absence of quantifiable policy targets. We’ll keep tracking, so follow this policy for updates.
Get on board with the facts
- Gender pay gap service – Gov.uk
- Hampton-Alexander Review: FTSE Women Leaders – Improving gender balance in FTSE Leadership, November 2018 – Gov.uk
- The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in the United Kingdom – McKinsey Global Institute
- Women’s Business Council
- Men as Change Agents – Women’s Business Council