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Rise in Women on FTSE Boards

Number of women on London Stock Exchange boards doubles in 5 years.

Efforts to boost female leadership in the boardroom are yielding results in the UK. The latest analysis found that the number of female FTSE 100 directors has doubled in five years and now hold one in three boardroom roles at the UK’s top 350 companies.

The figures are in line with targets set by the government-backed Hampton-Alexander review in 2016 which aimed to encourage firms to promote women into leadership roles. The review's objective was to see at least one third of board positions at FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 firms to be held by women by 2021. Data from January shows women held 34 percent of board roles across the FTSE 350.

OGN reported last year that, according to the Women Count 2020 report by gender diversity business The Pipeline, there is a stark difference in net profit margins of companies that have diverse gender leaderships compared to those who do not. The Pipeline says London-listed companies with no women on their executive committees have a net profit of 1.5%, whereas those with more than one in three women at that level reach 15.2% net profit margin.

That report also pointed out that in the largest 100 London-listed companies, the total number of female chief executives is the same as the number of bosses named Peter - six. When it comes to chief financial officers in those firms, fewer than two out of 10 are women.

So, whilst it's clearly good news that more women have achieved positions on boards, there's still some way to go as regards reaching the top corporate slots.

Though more needs to be done at many firms to improve female representation, some companies, namely Diagio and Severn Trent, are exceeding gender equality targets. Both have more women on their board than men.

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