FTSE 350 hits 30% target for women on boards

The FTSE 350 has hit the target of having a third of board positions filled by women for the first time since the London Stock Exchange was established in 1571, according to global campaign organisation the 30% Club

It says there are now 903 female directorships held by women out of 3008 positions in total. In comparison, when the 30% Club was founded in 2010 only 12.5% of FTSE 100 boards and 9.5% of FTSE 350 boards were female.

Brenda Trenowden, global co-chair of the 30% Club said: ‘This is an incredible milestone on the journey towards greater diversity and gender parity on company boards. The fact that we’ve met our 2020 target ahead of time means the narrative is working.’

However, the 30% Club target is different from the one set by the government’s Hampton- Alexander review, which advocated 33% representation of women on FTSE 350 boards and in executive committee and direct reports by the end of 2020.  It is due to publish its latest analysis next month, but last year’s report found 26.7% of FTSE 350 boards had female representation compared to 30.2% in the FTSE 100.

Ann Cairns, global co-chair of 30% Club, added: ‘30% is the number at which a minority group starts to become heard and considered – that target is our floor, not our ceiling.  With only 13 female CEO’s in the FTSE 350 it is clear there is much work to be done.

‘Over the last decade there has been a widescale renaissance of our board structure, both in the UK and internationally, and we think this will snowball from here. From here we will continue to champion those boards who display great diversity, and question those who remain stubbornly in the 20th Century with their all-male boards or their “one and done” attitude to female representation.’

By Pat Sweet

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