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FTSE 100 Companies – ‘Shocking’

A recent report by Deloitte claims that not only do 20% of FTSE 100 companies have all-male boardrooms but that women hold just 5% of executive positions. Carol Arrowsmith, a partner in Deloitte’s remuneration team, described the report’s findings as “shocking.” “It is of particular concern that the proportion of women on boards has only increased from 5% to 9% in 10 years,” Arrowsmith said. “At this rate, it would take another 20 years to reach the position of 30% female board representation, which is the aim of the 30% club.”

Recent research by Cranfield University sheds further light on the situation, revealing that female board appointments have totaled just 22.5% in the past year. The situation is worse in FTSE 100 companies, where women hold only 14.2% of boardroom positions – an increase of just 1.7% on last year. Furthermore, of the 21 women appointed to FTSE 100 boards since February, a meager 3 women hold executive positions.  However, Professor Susan Vinnicombe, who co-authored the Cranfield report, said of its findings: “Our review reveals that the number of women in board positions is beginning to creep up, albeit quite slowly.”

Lord Davies, former chairman of Standard Chartered called on companies in February to publish their own targets for increasing female presence on their boards. To date, only 33% of FTSE 100 companies have done so. According to Davies, “This is about good business practice; it is also about securing performance. You need engagement and diversity in teams to achieve success. Too many UK boards and executive teams do not have it. We are working to change that.”

Theresa May and Vince Cable, who has decided against imposing quotas, released the following joint statement: “There is still a long way to go, and too many companies fail to recognize the potential of women in leadership positions. We remain optimistic, however, that the voluntary approach advocated by Lord Davies will deliver the necessary changes.”

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