A piece in today’s Sunday Times by Rosamund Urwin. The paper, along with The Times, moderates comments, but I find that mine are published – as in the case of this article – which cannot be said for The Guardian.
The number of women running the 350 biggest public companies in Britain has not risen in the past decade — despite a series of government-backed initiatives to make boards more diverse.
According to figures collated by The Sunday Times, there are 13 female chief executives in the FTSE 350 — the same number as in 2008. The finding comes after Moya Greene handed over to new Royal Mail chief Rico Back on Friday.
Campaigners accuse some companies of paying lip service to diversity by appointing a solitary female non-executive director. “There’s definitely a feeling from some companies of, ‘Oh we’ve found one female non-executive — problem solved,’ ” said Fiona Hathorn, the managing director of Women on Boards.
Denise Wilson, chief executive of the government-commissioned Hampton-Alexander review of women in senior roles, added: “We always thought that chief executives would be the last hill to conquer, but we were hoping we’d see that move upwards by now. It’s going nowhere.”
Ten companies still have all-male boards, including Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct and Southend airport owner Stobart Group.
The FTSE sisterhood could be further diminished if Clydesdale bank succeeds in its bid for rival Virgin Money, which would be likely to lead to the departure of Virgin boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia.
The Hampton-Alexander review will publish its next update on women in the boardroom later this month. Its target is for a third of senior FTSE posts to be filled by women by 2020, up from 24.5% currently.
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