On face value, it's great to read that the number of women holding UK board positions has risen significantly year on year and the UK is on track to meet the government-backed target of 33% by the end of 2020, but when you start to scratch beneath the surface, what do the numbers really tell us?
The Female FTSE Board Report published by Cranfield University's School of Management highlights some interesting facts and figures which put a slightly different spin on the topline data.
For example, figures seem to be skewed by the appointment of women to far more non-executive roles - although FTSE 100 companies report an increase from 29% to 32% holding directorships in the last 12 months, when you see the split between executive and non-executive directors, the picture is very different - only 10% hold executive positions.
And that's not to mention wider diversity measures around age, ethnicity and education. There's still a lot to be done to ensure more companies see the true value in having a diverse workforce in every sense of the word at the top of their organisation.
It's a well known fact that a diverse workforce adds real value both culturally and economically, so let's hope more FTSE companies stop tokenistic appointments to meet targets and start taking diversity seriously.
Female FTSE Board Report findings The report, which focused on the 12 months up to the end of June 2019, found: - FTSE 100: the percentage of women on boards has increased from 29% to 32%, with 292 women holding 339 directorships. The percentage of female non-executive directors (NEDs) is at an all-time high of 38.9%, but the percentage of female executives is worryingly low at 10.9% - FTSE 250: The percentage of female directors has risen from 23.7% to 27.3%, while the number of all-male boards has dropped to three. The percentage of female NEDs is 32.8%, but the percentage of female executive directors (EDs) is low at 8.4% - The average tenure for female executive directors on FTSE boards is 3.3 years – half that of their male counterparts, who, on average, serve 6.6 years.