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We must “redouble our efforts” to meet female board member targets

Written by Michelle Rodger

50% of board positions will have to be filled by women over the next two years in order to meet female board member targets.

Across the FTSE 350 almost one in four companies in the UK have only one woman on their board, according to the findings of the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review for 2018.

In Scotland, there are currently 10 companies listed on the FTSE 350. Three are already meeting the target of more than 33% females at board level by 2020, with another one currently on track to meet the target.

Catherine Burnet, senior partner for KPMG in Scotland, said that the growing number of women on boards and among the leadership “reflects the efforts and change in emphasis businesses have placed on tackling the gender gap”.

“There has been some excellent progress made through the work of the Hampton-Alexander Review since its inception. The growing number of women on boards and among the leadership of FTSE 100 and 250 firms reflects the efforts and change in emphasis businesses have placed on tackling the gender gap.

“However, in Scotland and across the UK, it is undeniable more must be done to achieve true equality and we must all redouble our efforts. The momentum created by the review has to translate into faster change in the future, motivating leaders to look at the demographics of their teams at every level. This requires systematic focus on all aspects of recruitment, and retention.”

Within the FTSE 100, Scottish highlights include Royal Bank of Scotland, which, while falling behind its 2020 target, with 23% female representation at board level, is already exceeding 2020 targets at executive committee representation, at 34%. Standard Life Aberdeen, which has 21% of board positions filled by women, sees 32% female representation at executive committee level.

Within the FTSE 250 index, Scottish companies also perform well at board level, with 40% of the Scottish Investment Trust’s board made up of women, and an executive committee made up of 33% female representation.

Wood Group also ranks highly, with 40% of board positions filled by females. Aggreko and the Weir Group have 33% and 30% female board level representation, respectively. Cairn Energy, FirstGroup and SSE sit at 22.2% female board representation and AG Barr is 20%.

 

 

 

About the author

Michelle Rodger

Michelle is a former national newspaper journalist who co-founded an award-winning IT business before launching Tartan Cat Communications. A social media and crowdfunding expert she manages media and communications for Business for Scotland.

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