More women than ever are now at the top of UK companies, the business minister has revealed as new figures show a rise in the number of females sitting on boards.
For the first time ever, the FTSE 250 could meet the target of 33 per cent of board positions going to women by 2020, according to statistics released by the government commissioned Hampton-Alexander review.
As of June 1 this year, 32.1 per cent of the FTSE 100 board positions were held by women – up from 12.5 per cent in 2011.
There was also a rise in the FTSE 250 from 24.9 per cent in November last year to 27.5 per cent at the beginning of June, and in the FTSE 350 from 26.7 per cent to 29.1 per cent during the same period.
All-male boards in the FTSE 350 fell from five in November to four in June – a reduction from 152 in 2011, according to the data.
Kelly Tolhurst, business minister said: “These latest figures show there are now more women than ever before at the top of UK business, and I want to see companies do all they can to increase the numbers further.
“Diversity makes good business sense and those who fail to see this as a priority are missing out on the benefits that diverse leadership brings.”
The Hampton-Alexander review was commissioned by the government in 2016 to deal with corporate gender inequality and set targets for Britain’s biggest companies – including having 33% of women on their board and leadership team by 2020.
Sir Philip Hampton, who chairs 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% target and reaping the benefits.”