More women to be in leadership positions by 2025, companies say Business

Listed companies are expected to have at least one woman in a top four position on the board by 2025, under new proposals launched by the government.

Companies in the FTSE 350 will be told by ministers on Tuesday that they must have at least one woman as chairman, chief executive, chief financial officer or independent director by the end of 2025, as top jobs continue to be dominated by men.

There are currently 164 companies across the FTSE 350 that do not have a woman in any of these roles, equivalent to 46.9% of all UK listed companies.

Few women reach chief executive level, with just eight female CEOs currently in the FTSE 100 and 10 in the FTSE 250.

However, the government said progress had been made, with 39.1% of all board positions in blue-chip companies now held by women, up from 36.2% last year and 12.5% ​​ten years ago.

The latest recommendation will be presented on Tuesday as part of a new campaign to boost gender diversity at the top of UK business without calling for mandatory quotas.

The so-called FTSE Women Leaders Review replaces the old Hampton-Alexander review, which was set up by Theresa May in 2016 to tackle the lack of diversity at the top of UK business.

Although the Hampton-Alexander review, which ended last year, is widely credited with helping to end an era of all-male boards and upending the composition of UK boards, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said we “should not rest on our laurels”. because there is still a lot to do.

The Hampton-Alexander review’s goal of having at least 33% women on corporate boards by the end of 2020 has yet to be met by “many companies”, the officials argued. ministers. They now plan to increase this voluntary target to a minimum of 40% by the end of 2025.

Liz Truss, Minister for Women and Equality, said this latest campaign will go beyond the FTSE 350 and also call for change in the UK’s 50 biggest private companies by sales.

She said: ‘These recommendations aim to further increase gender balance, with a focus on the appointment of women to the highest levels of UK business, particularly in companies which are still lagging behind.’

The government has not yet announced who will lead this review. High-profile businesspeople including Lloyds Banking Group chairman Robin Budenberg and Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts are among those who will discuss the new targets at a launch event.

The move comes as Barclays prepares to appoint its first female chief financial officer.

The FTSE 100 bank is set to appoint Anna Cross to replace Tushar Morzaria, who is leaving after eight years, Sky News has reported.

Ms. Cross is currently Mr. Morzaria’s assistant. If promoted, she would be the first woman to hold the three most important positions on the Barclays board of directors, namely chairman, chief executive or chief financial officer.

Barclays declined to comment.

Its annual results are to be released on Wednesday.

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This notice was published: 2022-02-22 09:00:00

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