Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the FTSE Women Leaders Review?
The FTSE Women Leaders Review (the Review) is an independent review body, supported by Government, which builds on the excellent work of its predecessors, the Davies Review and Hampton-Alexander Review, to increase the number of women on FTSE 350 and 50 of the UK’s largest private company boards, with an important additional focus to improve women’s representation in senior leadership positions. Find out more and view previous reports at www.ftsewomenleaders.com.
2. Who Chairs the Review?
This phase of the Review is co-by Penny James, Senior Independent Director of Hargreaves Lansdown, and Nimesh Patel, CEO at Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc.
3. Who runs the Review and how does it operate?
The Review team is led by the Chief Executive, Denise Wilson, on a day-to-day basis. The team comprises of corporate sponsors (KPMG and Lloyds Banking Group) and other business representatives, with the Government providing Secretariat support and policy guidance from the Department of Business and Trade and data analysis and further policy guidance from the Government Equalities Hub.
The Review is governed by a Steering Group made up of experienced business members, and an Advisory Panel of relevant business organisations that meets periodically.
Key dates of the Review
4. What are the Recommendations for the Review?
The FTSE Women Leaders Review announced four new recommendations in February 2022, including higher targets and extending the scope to 50 of the largest private companies. They are as follows:
- The voluntary target for FTSE 350 Boards and 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 woman 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.
5. How did you determine the list of Top 50 private companies?
The FTSE Women Leaders Review has determined the criteria for the list of top private companies to be those companies that have an annual turnover in excess of £1 billion and/or an employee workforce in excess of 4000 employees. In addition, the company needs to be headquartered in the UK, with neither the company, nor the parent organisation listed on any UK or overseas stock exchange. The company may also make a significant contribution to UK business and the economy and/or have a significant UK consumer profile.
6. Why is the criteria for the in-scope private companies different than for companies under the FTSE?
The constituent list of companies in the FTSE 350 index is determined by the size of Market Capital and other considerations, and is updated quarterly by the London Stock Exchange. There is no such equivalent list for private companies in the UK. The criteria applied to determine the Top 50 list ensures that those companies included in the extended scope reflect those which have a significant role to play in British Business.
7. When will the next report be published?
This year’s report will be made public on 27 February 2024.
8. What is your definition of Executive Committee?
We anticipate most companies will have an Executive Committee or similarly named organisational structure. For those companies that do not, it should be the nearest equivalent and senior-most executive or managerial governing body that sits below the board, this will often be chaired by the CEO or in the absence of this, the collective of employees who directly report to the CEO. This should exclude all administrative and support staff. From data gathered in previous years the average size of a FTSE 100 Executive Committee is 11 members. These are typically slightly smaller in FTSE 250 companies.
9. What is your definition of Direct Reports to the Executive Committee?
Direct Reports are employees in a direct reporting line to members of the Executive Committee or the nearest equivalent. This should exclude administrative and support staff. From data gathered last year, the average size of a FTSE 350 Direct Report population is between 80-120 employees.
10. How does the Review collect data from companies in scope?
The Data submission process takes place through a secure online Portal. The Portal is designed to gather company specific Leadership Gender Data regarding the number of men and women on both the Executive Committee and Direct Reports to the Executive Committee at a snap-shot reporting date of 31 October each year.
Employee Turnover Data
The online Portal also collects information on Employee Turnover by comparing the gender representation of a company from one year to the next. In addition to the Leadership Gender Data required, the number of leavers and the number of joiners by gender during the prior 12 month period are required to calculate the turnover.
Board Gender Data
Companies are also asked to submit Board Gender Data on four key Board roles via the online Portal; the Chair of the Board, the Senior Independent Director/or Deputy Chair, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Chief Financial Officer/Finance Director.
For FTSE 350 companies, any other required data relating to the composition of the Board will be collected by the FTSE Women Leaders Review team from BoardEx, and other publicly and/or statutory sources on a specified date, this year 11 January 2024.
The Top 50 private companies are asked to submit their Board Gender Data via the online portal at a snap-shot reporting date of 31 October each year.
Please note: Any Executive Director who is a member of the Board and also a member of the Executive Committee, needs to also be included via the online Portal submission, in the relevant Leadership Gender Data fields. This is likely to include the CEO and the Finance Director only, who most often sit on the Board and on the Executive Committee, but it may also include any other Executive Director that is also a member of the Board.
11. If my company is structured as an Investment Trust, how should I respond?
Investment Trusts that do not have any employees and/or have substantially outsourced the management of the company to third parties, are not required to submit data via the Portal. Further, Investment Trusts which are recorded as such in Appendix D of the February 2023 FTSE Women Leaders Review Report, are not required to re-confirm their company status if this remains unchanged from 2023.
All new entrants to the FTSE 350 Index are required to either confirm their legal status as an Investment Trust, or submit their Leadership Gender Data and the Board Gender Data. To confirm your company’s status as an Investment Trust, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
12. How can I check if my company has submitted Leadership Gender Data historically?
All FTSE 350 companies and the vast majority of Top 50 private companies submitted their Gender Data in November 2023. You can view our latest and historic reports, turning to appendix C, D and E where companies are ranked. If you have any queries, please contact us at email@example.com
13. How will the Gender Data be used by the FTSE Women Leaders Review team?
The FTSE Women Leaders Review gathers data from FTSE 350 companies and the Top 50 private companies in scope on over 24,000 roles on boards and in leadership roles (defined as the Executive Committee and their direct reports). The Review publishes progress against Women on Boards and Women in Leadership, on both an individual company and an aggregate basis, in the annual FTSE Women Leaders report. You can view our latest and historic reports.
14. Who has access to the Board and Leadership Gender Data?
The Leadership and Board Gender Data will be accessed by a limited number of parties involved in analysing the gender performance data for the FTSE Women Leaders Review and compiling the report. This includes the FTSE Women Leaders Steering Group and team, the Government Equalities Hub, the Department of Business and Trade and partners supporting the FTSE Women Leaders Review website and publication of reports.
15. Should my company publish the Leadership Gender Data the FTSE Women Leaders require elsewhere?
Yes. In line with the recommendations of the previous Hampton-Alexander Review we also encourage companies to publish details of the number of women on the Executive Committee and the Direct Reports to the Executive Committee in their Annual Report and Accounts and/or on their websites. As the reporting process takes place only annually, information on websites helps the FTSE Women Leaders Review team and other stakeholders to keep updated. It may also be of interest to your colleagues, customers, broader stakeholders and investors. If you would like to publish your FTSE Women Leaders Report ranking and/or use our logo, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
16. Is this the same as the new Gender Pay Gap (GPG) reporting requirements?
No, this is an entirely separate, voluntary request made by the independent FTSE Women Leaders Review, supported by the Department of Business and Trade and the Government Equalities Hub. Together we request FTSE 350 companies and the Top 50 private companies to submit Leadership Gender Data on the gender representation on the Executive Committee and Direct Reports to the Executive Committee.
Mandatory GPG reporting genderpaygap.campaign.gov.uk is a legislative requirement that came into force in April 2017 requiring employers with 250 employees or more, to publish a range of Gender Pay Gap information by 30 March for the public sector and 4 April for the private and voluntary sector.
Analysis of FTSE companies’ gender pay gap reports, shows there is a significant gap in the earnings opportunity of men and women, largely as a result of too few women in higher paid executive or leadership roles and too many women occupying lower paid and lower grade roles.
The FTSE Women Leaders Review’s primary purpose is to increase the number of women on FTSE 350 boards and in executive and leadership roles, ensuring equal opportunity for both men and women and as such significantly contributing to closing the gender pay gap.
17. Is this the same as the new FCA Listing Rules reporting requirements?
No, this is an entirely separate, voluntary request made by the independent FTSE Women Leaders Review, supported by the Department of Business and Trade and the Government Equalities Hub. Together we request FTSE 350 companies and 50 of the largest private companies to submit Leadership Gender Data on the gender representation on the Executive Committee and Direct Reports to the Executive Committee.
In April 2022, the FCA finalised rules requiring listed companies to report information and disclose against targets on the representation of women and ethnic minorities on their boards and executive management, making it easier for investors to see the diversity of their senior leadership teams. The rules will apply to listed companies for financial accounting periods starting from 1 April 2022.
The FCA’s approach sets positive diversity targets for listed companies. If they cannot meet them, they need to explain why not. This approach allows flexibility for smaller firms or those based overseas. The rules also allow companies to decide how best to collect data from employees to show they are meeting the targets.
The FTSE Women Leaders Review’s primary purpose is to increase the number of women on FTSE 350 and largest private company boards and in executive and leadership roles, ensuring equal opportunity for both men and women.
If you have any further questions, please contact the FTSE Women Leaders Review team at email@example.com
FAQs updated February 2024.