July 2, 2019
Firms in the FTSE 100 are on track to reach the target of 33 percent of women on boards by 2020 that was set by the Hampton Alexander Review. In its July update, the organisation reports that 27.5 percent of FTSE 250 board positions now held by women, up from 24.9 percent three years ago. The figures suggest that if progress matches the same gains made over the last 3 years, then FTSE 100 companies are on track to meet the 2020 target. Just under a third (32.1 percent) of FTSE 100 board positions are now held by women, up from 12.5 percent in 2011.
Launched in 2016, the government-backed independent Hampton-Alexander Review set FTSE 350 businesses a target of having 33 percent of all board and senior leadership positions held by women by the end of 2020. The new figures show that if progress matches the same gains made over the last three years, then FTSE 100 companies are on track to meet the 2020 target. The number of all-male boards across the FTSE 350 has fallen from 152 in 2011 to four.
Sir Philip Hampton, Chair of the Review said: “The FTSE 250 is working hard to catch up but still too many boards have only one woman and remarkably today there are four all male boards in the FTSE 250. We are expecting to see good progress in the number of women appointed into senior leadership roles this year, with those companies having worked hard for several years exceeding the 33 percent target and reaping the benefits. We look forward to receiving the data submissions during the month of July and reporting on progress in November.”
The most recent issue of the review was published in November 2018, with a new update promised for this November outlining progress on the number of women on boards.
Still to respond
However the new report also names fourteen companies named who have not responded and still have one woman or fewer on their board.
It is especially disappointing that fourteen companies are still falling so far short of shareholder expectations
Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association said: “Investors want to invest in businesses that demonstrate they are diverse and inclusive because this leads to better decision-making and avoids group think. There has been good progress made, with 20 companies that we wrote to responding by appointing another woman to their board. This is a sign that many companies are getting the message, but there is still more work to do.
“It is especially disappointing that fourteen companies are still falling so far short of shareholder expectations by having just a single woman on their board. Adopting this ‘one and done’ attitude is not good enough, and investors expect companies to up their game and explain clearly how they will set this right going forward.”
Monday 1 July 2019 marked the portal opening for FTSE 350 companies to submit their senior leadership gender representation data to the Hampton-Alexander Review. Companies have just one month – until 31 July – to lodge the gender split of their Executive Committee, and the Direct Reports to the Executive Committee via the portal.
The fourteen companies that have not responded to the review and still one or fewer women on boards are:
1. Baillie Gifford Japan Trust Plc
2. BCA Marketplace Plc
3. Energean Oil & Gas Plc
4. Ferrexpo Plc
5. Grafton Group Plc
6. Herald Investment Trust Plc
7. Hochschild Mining Plc
8. Jupiter European Opportunities Trust Plc
9. Rank Group Plc
10. Riverstone Energy Ltd
11. Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund Ltd
12. Telecom Plus Plc
13. TR Property Investments
14. Tritax Big Box REIT Plc