The FTSE Women Leaders Review is the independent, business-led framework supported by Government which sets recommendations to improve the representation of women on the Boards and Leadership teams of the FTSE 350 and 50 of the UK’s largest private companies.
The Review builds on the work of the Hampton-Alexander and Davies Reviews which preceded it. It is based on a unique approach in that it is voluntary and data-led and works with business on a significant scale.
Since the start of the Review in 2011 there has been a sea-change in the gender balance of British boards from 12% women board members in the FTSE 100 in 2011 to 40% today. Last year we set ourselves the target of having 40% of roles on FTSE 350 Boards held by women by 2025 and that target has already been achieved three years ahead of the deadline.
Having said that there are still companies where women’s representation at the top levels lags behind – particularly on the Executive Committee and their Direct Reports. This has improved significantly but there is still some way to go.
The focus is now on cementing the culture change that will deliver gender parity in the very top rungs of British business.
The Review gathers data from FTSE 350 companies and private companies in scope on over 24,000 roles on boards and in leadership roles (defined as the Executive Committee and their direct reports). It adopts a voluntary approach, encouraging progress, the sharing of best practise and publishes progress against Women on Boards and Women in Leadership on an annual basis.
The Review’s Co-Chairs, Penny James and Nimesh Patel, join Chief Executive Denise Wilson and team to lead the work of the Review, supported by business sponsors, the Department of Business & Trade and the Government Equalities Hub.
To deliver gender equality on the boards and leadership teams of the FTSE 350 and 50 of the UK’s largest private companies the Review is focused on the following recommendations:
- The voluntary target for FTSE350 Boards & for FTSE 350 Leadership teams is increased to a minimum of 40% women’s representation by the end of 2025
- FTSE 350 companies should have at least one women in the Chair, Senior Independent Director role on the Board and/or one woman in the Chief Executive Officer or Finance Director role by the end of 2025
- Key stakeholders should continue to set best-practice guidelines or use alternative mechanisms to encourage any FTSE 350 Board that has not yet achieved the previous 33% target for the end of 2020, to do so
- The scope of the Review is extended beyond FTSE 350 companies to include the largest 50 private companies in the UK by sales. The full list of private companies included in this year’s Review was announced in our press release on 1 November 2022.