The Hampton-Alexander Review 2016 – 2020

The Hampton-Alexander Review team tracked progress and reported on an annual basis. They were supported by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Government Equalities Office and other key partners. The Women on Boards targets were achieved in the aggregate for the FTSE 350 at the end of 2020. The percentage of women serving on FTSE 100 Boards increased from 27.7% in 2017 to 36.2% in 2020 and FTSE 250 Boards increased from 22.8% in 2017 to 33.2% in 2020.

The Women in Leadership targets fell just short of the 33% target for the aggregated FTSE 350 at 29%. The percentage of women in the FTSE 100 Combined Executive Committee & Direct Reports stood at 30.6% in 2020 and FTSE 250 Combined Executive Committee & Direct Reports increased stood at 28.5%.


The Hampton-Alexander Review determined a set of five recommendations. The first was a call to action for FTSE CEOs and included a target for the FTSE 100. The second asked Government to improve the disclosure requirements on listed companies. There were two supporting recommendations for investors and executive search firms and the fifth re-iterated the 33% target for Women on Boards.

More detail on the individual recommendations can be found below:

Women on Boards

1. Voluntary Target – FTSE 350

1.1 Target
FTSE 350 companies should aim for a minimum of 33% women’s representation on their Boards by 2020.

1.2 More women as Chairs
All stakeholders should work together to ensure increasing numbers of women are appointed to the roles of Chair, Senior Independent Director and Executive Director positions on boards of FTSE 350 companies.

1.3 All FTSE companies to take action
All FTSE listed companies yet to address gender imbalance on their boards should take prompt action to address any shortfall.

FTSE Women Leaders

2. Voluntary Target and CEOs to increase significantly the number of women in leadership positions.

2.1 Call to action
All CEOs of FTSE 350 companies should take action to improve the under-representation of women on the Executive Committee and in the layer immediately below, the Direct Reports to the Executive Committee.

2.2 Combined Target
FTSE 100 companies should aim for a minimum of 33% women’s representation across their Executive Committee and in the Direct Reports to the Executive Committee by 2020.

2.3 Action for the Nominations Committee
The Chair of the Nominations Committee should take an active role in overseeing the progress made to improve women’s representation on the Executive Committee and the Direct Reports to the Executive Committee.

2.4 Transparency
FTSE 350 companies should voluntarily publish details of the number of women on the Executive Committee and in the Direct Reports to the Executive Committee on an annual basis. This should be disclosed in the Corporate Governance section of the Annual Report and Accounts and/or on websites.

3. Government Reporting Requirements

3.1 Financial Reporting Council Reporting Requirements
As soon as is feasible, the FRC should amend the UK Corporate Governance Code so that all FTSE 350 listed companies disclose in their Annual Report and Accounts the gender balance on the Executive Committee and Direct Reports to the Executive Committee.

3.2 BEIS Disclosure of Gender Balance at Senior Levels
The Government should, in consultation with business, consider how best to clarify or supplement the definition of ‘senior managers’ to achieve a more consistent metric based on the Executive Committee or its nearest equivalent in each company, and direct reports to members of that committee.

4. Investors

4.1 Governance
Progress on gender balanced Boards and in the leadership ranks of FTSE 350 companies should be assessed as a key corporate governance issue when considering their responsibilities under the UK Stewardship Code.

4.2 Policy on Gender Balance
All institutional investors should have a clear process in place for evaluating disclosures and progress on gender balance for FTSE 350 investee companies at Board level, on the Executive Committee and in the Direct Reports to the Executive Committee

4.3 Communication
Investors should discuss and engage with investee companies on gender balance in particular where progress has been slow and vote in accordance with their policy and publicly disclose their voting records.

5. Executive Search Firms

5.1 Redoubling Efforts
Executive Search firms should build on success so far and continue their efforts to increase the number of women on FTSE 350 Boards. They should apply the same effort and skills in supporting clients to increase number of women on FTSE Executive Committees and in senior leadership positions.

5.2 Development of Voluntary Codes of Conduct
Executive Search firms should consider extending the Code of Conduct and Enhanced Code of Conduct to include the Executive Committee and Direct Reports to the Executive Committee.

The Hampton-Alexander Team


Sir Philip Hampton
Chair, Hampton-Alexander Review

Sir Philip Hampton is the former Chair of GlaxoSmithKline. His previous positions include Chair of RBS and Sainsbury’s and Group Finance Director at Lloyd’s Banking Group, BT and BG. He also led the Hampton Report into regulatory inspection and enforcement in 2005. He has extensive FTSE experience and has shown clear commitment to increasing women’s representation in his own organisations and championing greater cause with others.


Denise Wilson OBE
Chief Executive, Hampton-Alexander Review

Denise Wilson has served as a Non-Executive Director of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, Chair of the Remuneration Committee, Chair of the Royal Academy of Arts Friends and member of the Royal Academy Audit Committee. Her previous appointments include Chief Executive of the Davies Review and various senior executive roles at National Grid, BG Group and British Gas. She is a business coach, mentor and passionate supporter of women in business.

Steering Group Members

The Review was overseen by an independent steering body, made up of business and subject matter experts who along with the Chair and CEO, support FTSE companies in their efforts to increase women in senior leadership positions and on their Boards. The Steering Group acted as a catalyst for sustained momentum and monitoring of progress.

Alison Platt

Alison Platt CMG
Non-Executive Director, Tesco plc

Alison Platt is currently a Non-Executive Director at Tesco plc. Her previous appointments include CEO of Countryside, Chair of Opportunity Now and a Non-Executive Director at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, having spent her executive career in various key positions at Bupa and British Airways.


Andy Duff
Former Chair of Severn Trent and Chair of Elementis

Andy Duff is the former Chair of Severn Trent and Chair of Elementis, and senior trustee of Macmillan Cancer Support. His previous non-executive appointments include Senior Independent Director at Ferguson. Andy’s early career was at BP. He later held senior executive positions at National Power before joining the board of the demerged company, Innogy, on its IPO in 2000. He became CEO of its successor company, RWE npower in 2003.


Charles Berry
Former Chair of Centrica Plc and Chair of Weir Group 

Charles Berry is the former Chair of Weir Group and Centrica plc. He previously held Chair appointments at Senior Plc, Drax Group plc, EAGA plc and Thus Group and as Non-Executive Director of Impax Environmental Markets and Securities Trust of Scotland. He also held several executive positions at Scottish Power, Norwest Holst and Pilkington plc.


Fiona Cannon OBE
Group Sustainable Business Director, Lloyds Banking Group

In addition to her role at Lloyds Banking Group, Fiona has held a number of public positions and external appointments including Non-executive Director of the Government Equalities Office; Deputy Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission and Chair of Women’s Justice Taskforce. She is a founding member of a number of other campaigns including the UK Race for Opportunity and Employers for Fathers campaign. Fiona is Director of the Agile Future Forum, an alliance of 33 UK FTSE 100 Chairmen and Chief executives and author of ‘The Agility Mindset’ published in 2016.

Melanie Richards

Melanie Richards CBE
Former Deputy Chair of KPMG and Chair of The Eve Appeal

Prior to KPMG, Melanie spent 15 years with NatWest and 3 years with Hambros’ Fixed Income Group. She is a founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee. Melanie was named #1 in the 2017 FT Female Champion of Women in Business list and was awarded the inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards 2018 ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award for her work to advance inclusion and social mobility in the workplace.

Advisory Group

Andrew Ninian
Director Corporate Governance Investment Association

Brenda Trenowden CBE
Global Chair 30% Club

Carolyn Fairbairn
Director General, Confederation of British Industries

Charlotte Valeur
Institute of Directors

Fiona Dawson
Chair Women’s Business Council

Susan Vinnicombe CBE
Professor of Women and Leadership, Cranfield University

Tribute to the late Dame Helen Alexander

A video tribute to Dame Helen Alexander
(Created by Peel Hunt, founders of the Non-Executive Director Awards)