News 27th August 2021 1 minute read

Investment Week | Board gender parity delayed to 2059 at current pace

Board gender parity delayed to 2059 at current pace, Retail Week reports on the key findings of the 2021 Green Park Business Leaders Index.

Despite some progress on gender parity ethnic minorities and women are being sidelined in FTSE 100 boardrooms. The Green Park Business Leaders Index 2021 found that there are only 36 women at a C-suite level across the FTSE 100, a total of 12.2%. With the current rate of change over the last eight years it would be 2059 before women held 50% of the top 3 roles.

The report also highlights the disproportionate representation of females in human resources (71.1%) and marketing and communications (50%), much less common routes to the top compared to the male dominated Finance and Digital, Data & Technology roles. Baroness Helena Morrissey said; "To achieve results at the most senior levels and to sustain progress for gender diversity on boards, leaders must believe diversity and inclusion is integral to the success of their firm and embed this into the business agenda."

She recommended organisations "Add DEI on strategy day agendas; reward or penalise managers for their inclusive or exclusive behaviours and listen directly to the experiences of women, of ethnic minorities and other underrepresented groups rather than delegate the topic to HR. We need to see more leaders become true allies with their own goals bound together with those of their diverse talent."

Slower progress was seen in ethnic minority representation with only one additional ethnic minority in FTSE 100 Chair, CEO or CFO roles in the last eight years. At this rate of change it would take 216 years until ethnic minorities were proportionately represented (13%) at the top three level. Trevor Phillips, chair of Green Park adds that "these figures put some flesh on the bone of last year’s protests. We know there is no shortage of qualified candidates to fill these roles if companies are willing to look. Yet the snowy peaks of British business remain stubbornly white. This is not happening by accident. It is a consequence of what we do and what we do not do. That is why we cannot go back to business as usual."

To read the Investment Week article in full, as published on Wednesday August 11th 2021, click here

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