"Pitiful" and "patronising" – the excuses given for the lack of female presence in FTSE boardrooms

The Hampton-Alexander Review, an independent review backed by the government to scrutinise the gender balance of boards at the top of the country’s leading companies, released a report this week which lists some of the excuses given by companies for a lack of female representation on their boards. The excuses given included:
“There aren’t that many women with the right credentials and depth of experience to sit on the board – the issues covered are extremely complex.”
“Most women don’t want the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board.”
“Shareholders just aren’t interested in the make-up of the board, so why should we be?”
“All the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up.”
“We have one woman already on the board, so we are done – it is someone else’s turn.”
“We need to build the pipeline from the bottom – there just aren’t enough senior women in this sector.”
In his response to the report, business minister Andrew Griffiths described the excuses received as both “pitiful” and “patronising”. The Hampton-Alexander Review, led by Sir Philip Hampton, has challenged all FTSE 350 companies to ensure at least one third of their board members are women by 2020. Despite these comments, there is some cause for optimism with the number of women on boards having more than doubled in the FTSE 350 since 2011.

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UK People Reward and Mobility Team

About UK People Reward and Mobility Team

Our People, Reward and Mobility team in the UK advises on all aspects of employment law, both contentious and non-contentious, and covers the full range of pensions and employee benefits issues as well as all areas of immigration law.