Women make up two out of five board members of FTSE 350 companies, hitting the target three years early, according to a campaign to increase women’s participation in government-backed executive positions.
The annual FTSE Women Leaders Review found that 40.2% of directors at the UK’s largest listed companies were women last year, exceeding the voluntary threshold set in 2025, up from just 9.5% 11 years ago. I’m here.
A successor to the Hampton-Alexander and Davies Reviews found that nearly one-fifth of the FTSE 350 boards are chaired by women, while there are only 21 female CEOs across major listed markets. I did not buy.
FTSE 100 listed companies with the highest proportion of female directors included beverage groups Diageoonline car marketplace Auto Trader, and water company Severn Trent.
Despite having a female CEO, pharmaceutical company GSK has the lowest number of women on its board of all blue-chip companies, with retailer Frasers Group, investment manager St James’s Place, Mining company Antofagasta follows.
The campaign said its focus over the next three years would be to increase the number of women appointed to the company’s biggest roles, such as chief executive officers and financial officers.
Denise Wilson, chief executive of the FTSE Women Leaders Review, said, “Silent, sober conversations about the shortage of women from last year have evolved into a core and important business topic.”
She added that Britain’s women’s representation is now second only to France in the world. Board quota for women has been running since 2017, which she described as a “significant achievement” of the voluntary programme.
The review concluded that “more work needs to be done” to increase the proportion of women on the FTSE 350 Executive Committee, which stood at 27% last year. The number of FTSE 350 all-male Executive Committees has decreased from 54 in 2017 to 10.
For the first time, the report included data covering the top 50 UK private companies, with an average of about 31% women on boards.
A higher level of divergence was found in this review, although more than a third of the reports reported that more than 40% of their directors were women, and more than half had a much higher proportion of women than the average. I’m reporting that it’s going down.
Several companies, including retailer John Lewis, construction firm Rain O’Rourke, and Building Society Nationwide, had high female representation in senior management. However, the boards of 19 companies were all men or contained only one female director.
The report’s authors say direct comparisons with board-level representatives of publicly traded companies are difficult because some private companies have different top-level management structures.
The proportion of women below board level in FTSE 100 companies (which covers the gender balance of executive committees and managers reporting directly to the executive committee) increased from 32.5% in 2021 to 34.3%. Females accounted for 41% of her total. Passers of all available roles last year.
At the FTSE 250, the number of women in leadership teams increased from 30.1% in 2021 to 33%, with 40% of leadership roles now filled by women. Among the top 50 private companies, the figure for executive committees and direct reports was 34.3%.
The review found that women occupy 1,202 of the 3,000 board seats and 6,660 of the 20,000 leadership roles across the FTSE 350.
Of the 50 private companies asked to participate in the survey, six did not provide data, including Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos, JCB owned by the Bamford family, wholesaler Bestway and retailer New Look. I did.
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