Women in Senior Management: 2019 update

Women in Senior Management: 2019 update

The 2018 Hampton-Alexander Review (the review) aims to increase the number of women in senior positions in the FTSE 350. It proposes that FTSE 350 companies should aim to have at least 33% of their board made up of women by 2020, echoing Lord Davies’ 2011 recommendations.  With the 2020 deadline fast approaching, Market Tracker has reviewed the FTSE 350 regarding these targets.

Our research has found, that in the 2019 AGM season (defined as companies whose financial year end is between 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019, excluding close-ended investment trusts), only 33.57% of the FTSE 350 have met or exceeded the recommended 33% target. Of those who had met the target, it was found that, in most cases, female board representation was made up of non-executive directors. Market Tracker notes that only 16.13% of the FTSE 350 had 33% or more female executive directors.

The review recognises that, in order to achieve diversity at the highest levels, a sustainable pipeline of talent must first be developed. Therefore, the review extends the 33% target beyond the board room, and into leadership teams.  In this regard, our research has found that only 23.05% of companies have 33% or more women in senior management positions, with a further 25.78% on track to achieve this target by 2020. 

Vodafone is a notable example of a company which is on track to comply with the recommendations. It is already complying with the review’s proposals with respect to the board room, as 42% of its board members are female, and further, of the executive directors, 50% are female. The company is also very much on track to achieve the requisite level of women at senior management levels (currently at 31%).  Vodafone’s aim to be the ‘world’s best employer for women by 2025’ has led to increased initiatives aimed at tackling barriers to women’s progression in the workplace, including a ‘global maternity policy’. Alongside

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Market Tracker is a unique service for corporate lawyers housed within Lexis®PSL Corporate. It features a powerful transaction data analysis tool for accessing, analysing and comparing the specific features of corporate transactions, with a comprehensive and searchable library of deal documentation across 14 different deal types. The Market Tracker product also includes news and analysis of key corporate deals and activity and in-depth analysis of recent trends in corporate transactions.