Women now make up third of all FTSE 100 board members

Andrea Leadsom

Women now make up a third of all FTSE 100 board members, according to the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review.

The review found that 33% of all FTSE 100 board members are now women – up from 12.5% less than a decade ago.

According to Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, the target has been achieved on an “entirely voluntary” basis, rather than resorting to legislation, fines or penalties.

Despite this encouraging headline figure, more work needs to be done. For example, the review highlights a concerning dearth of women in senior leadership and key executive roles in FTSE companies – with just 15% of FTSE 100 finance directors being women.

The review also shows that more work is needed for the FSTE 250 to meet the 33% target as it currently stands at 29.5%.

Research produced exclusively for the review by the Global Institute for Women Leadership at King’s College London also shows women facing everyday sexism in the workplace, with examples including higher reports of insults or angry outbursts directed at women compared to men.

The forthcoming Employment Bill will seek to better support women in the workplace, with measures including enhanced protections from pregnancy and maternity discrimination and, subject to consultation, making flexible working the default.

“The Hampton-Alexander Review has done fantastic work. But it’s clear that women continue to face barriers to success, whether that’s through promotion to key roles or how they are treated by colleagues,” said Ms Leadsom.

“Businesses must do more to tackle these issues and we will support them in doing so, including through our world leading reforms to workplace rights.”

Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins, said: “I’m delighted that 33% of board members in the FTSE100 are women, a year ahead of the Hampton-Alexander Review’s target. Equality is good for business – and it’s clear companies know this.”