The UK Business Secretary announced a significant increase in the number of women who hold top jobs at FTSE 100 companies.
The findings come from a recent Hampton-Alexander Review. Even so, despite having 349 females now sitting as board members, there is still room for further improvement.
The increase in female FTSE 100 board members now stands at 33% - a notable rise from 12.5% less than ten years ago .
In essence, it means the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review met its key target about a year ahead of schedule.
The Business Secretary praised the results as 'fantastic work'. She also added that the voluntary achievement avoided the need for legislation or fines.
Even so, the figures highlight a distinct lack of FTSE women leaders at senior and key executive roles. For example, only 15% of FTSE 100 finance directors are women.
Further research also shows that women are still facing everyday sexism in the workplace. The typical examples exposed, include a higher count of insults or angry outbursts directed at women - as compared to their male counterparts.
Note: A forthcoming Employment Bill should better support women in the workplace. The measures include enhanced protections from pregnancy and maternity discrimination. New laws could also make flexible working arrangements the norm.
The Hampton-Alexander Review highlights the main barriers that women are still facing on the path to corporate success. The biggest hurdles they face include:
Hence, big businesses must do more to tackle and improve boardroom diversity. As a result, the government will introduce world leading reforms to increase workers' rights - especially in company management.
The aim was to have females filling at least half of all the available appointments to FTSE 350 leadership roles in 2020. Doing so would:
Note: The chief executive of the review said unconscious bias and gender stereotyping were hindering further progress in the number of FTSE women leaders.
King's College carried out further research into everyday sexism (e.g. micro-aggressions) in the workplace. A survey of 350 senior leadership positions held by men and women revealed:
As a result, a hostile workplace culture will make it more difficult for women to reach leadership positions in the United Kingdom.
We must encourage the 'calling out' of undermining behaviour at work - and not reward it! Building an inclusive environment that embraces boardroom diversity means everyone can prosper.
The following information and statistics comes from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Government Equalities Office [updated for 2020].
Percentage of Women Holding FTSE 100 Board Roles Rises to 33%