Women on the board: 2019 update

Women on the board: 2019 update

On 13 November 2019, The Hampton-Alexander Review (the Review) published its penultimate progress report ahead of the December 2020 target for its key recommendations aimed at increasing the number of women in senior roles. Amongst these recommendations is that members of the FTSE 350 have at least 33% female representation on their boards. With this in mind, Market Tracker has conducted research looking into FTSE 350 companies’ progress against this target in the 2019 AGM season*.

2019 has been a progressive year for gender equality initiatives, with the 30% club reporting in October that, for the first time in 450 years, the UK has at least 30% women board members across the FTSE 350. This echoes the Review’s enthusiasm that 2019 has been the ‘strongest year of progress since targets were first set in 2011’. Similarly, Market Tracker’s research has also shown steady progress this season, with 33.6% of the FTSE 350 hitting or exceeding the Review’s target of 33% female board members, up from 22.8% in 2018. With a further 20.1% of companies on track to achieve this target, there has been notable progress in 2019.

As the deadline approaches, these figures could be attributed to numerous factors. There has been much research around the economic and business benefits to be gained from promoting more women, with the 2017 Mckinsey review recognising a positive correlation between ‘women in leadership roles and the financial performance of businesses’. Furthermore, in October 2019, Deloitte published a report noting ‘companies are increasingly going beyond financial drivers and focusing on ‘success factors’ such as societal and environmental impacts’, amongst which diversity is one of the key considerations.  This is in response to investors focusing ‘increasingly on the longer term and broader value creation in mak

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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.