Will Gender Parity in the Boardroom Happen on Its Own

We spotted a very interest article on the BBC this week reflecting on the changes to the numbers of females in top jobs at the UK’s largest firms. According to the article the number of women now sitting in board level positions has risen by some 50% in the last 5 years from 682 to 1026 for the 350 largest companies in the UK. 

These figures were released by the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review, which was launched in 2016 to encourage UK-listed companies to appoint more women to senior board level positions. The review stated said that FTSE 100, 250 and 350 firms all reached the target of women making up 33% of boards by the end of 2020; which with it being a voluntary target based on a business led-approach is a huge success.

In the article, Ann Cairns, global chair of the 30% Club, the campaigning body focused on championing better boardroom representation of women globally said, “The Hampton-Alexander Review has played a significant role in bringing about greater gender diversity to the boardrooms of Britain’s biggest companies,” but then added, “progress in female representation at the highest levels remained fragile and slow. ” 

Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment have always supported all campaigns to close gender diversity. “Being members of the Women in Finance Charter, we are committed to encouraging and supporting firms in the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector. We believe your workforce should reflect the diverse world we live in”, commented Tracy Fletcher, Managing Director. 

Studies show that companies that rank in the top quartile for gender, racial and ethnic diversity amongst their senior management were more likely to have financial returns above those who fail to address diversity challenges. A diverse workforce offers fresh viewpoint perspectives, innovation and commercial success.

Despite all the positive figures, globally the figures are not so impressive with just under 17% of board seats held by females, and under 5% sitting in CEO positions. Research shows that organizations with women in top leadership positions have almost double the number of board seats held by other women. Equally gender-diverse boards are more likely to appoint women to leadership positions, such as CEO or Chairman of the Board; this suggests diversity spurs more diversity. Unfortunately though that without further efforts to provide women with opportunities to climb within their own companies, women will continue to be underrepresented in the boardroom.

We firmly believe that initiatives are needed to address diversity in the boardroom, but most go hand in hand with efforts to address diversity throughout an organisation. We work with and encourage our clients to embrace anti-bias training and likewise it is as important for us that we always have a fully diverse talent pool available for all our clients across all roles,” added Tracy, “We set a goal to supply over 30 per cent of our shortlisted candidates to our clients as female.”

To read the full article see.

Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment work across the United Kingdom sourcing the highest equality talent in the banking and financial services industries. We are proud members of the Women in Finance Charter and are committed to closing the gender diversity gap.