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One in five FTSE companies failing on gender diversity

A wide variety of top UK companies have come under fire after it was discovered a massive percentage do not have a female member of staff on the boardroom level.

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"Companies must do more than take the tokenistic step of appointing just one woman to their board"
"Companies must do more than take the tokenistic step of appointing just one woman to their board"

The Investment Association and the Hampton-Alexander Review have written to 69 of the FTSE 350 companies, outlining concerns about the lack of gender diversity on their board.

 

The letter, which has been sent to companies who have no women or just one woman on their board, asks companies to outline what action they are doing to make progress and ensure their board and leadership team have 33 percent of women on them by 2020.

 

Chris Cummings, chief executive of the IA, said: "Investors have been consistently clear that they want to see greater diversity in the boardroom so it is totally unacceptable that one in five of the UK’s biggest companies are falling so far short.

 

"Companies must do more than take the tokenistic step of appointing just one woman to their board and consider that job done.”

 

Sir Philip Hampton, chair of the Hampton-Alexander Review, said the number of boards with just one woman does not reflect the population of very talented women capable of making great contributions in boardrooms.

 

Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee, said: “The time for our biggest companies to remedy the lack of gender diversity is long overdue and they need to set out what actions they are taking to make progress. The role of investors is important here too and they need to assert themselves to ensure that diversity is reflected more visibly at board level.”

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