UK companies use ‘pitiful’ excuses to keep women out of boardrooms

UK companies use ‘pitiful’ excuses to keep women out of boardrooms

The leaders of some of Britain’s largest companies are utilizing “pitiful and patronising” excuses to keep women out of the boardroom, in accordance to a report launched by the federal government on Thursday.

Some executives claimed that women “don’t want the hassle” of becoming a member of a board, or really feel that they don’t “fit comfortably into the board environment,” in accordance to the findings from the government-commissioned evaluate. One enterprise chief even claimed that women had been doubtless to wrestle with “extremely complex issues”.

Ministers declared the scenario as “outrageous”, pointing out that 10 of the FTSE 350 index of the nation’s largest listed companies should not have a single feminine board member — though this has fallen steeply from 152 in 2011.

The findings arose from a authorities evaluate of gender illustration in UK-listed companies, led by Sir Philip Hampton, chair of GlaxoSmithKline.

The Hampton-Alexander evaluate was launched in November 2016 and can attain its midway level on June 27, when the newest figures shall be revealed for the quantity of women on FTSE 350 boards.

Dame Helen Alexander, former chair of UBM and deputy chair of the evaluate, died of most cancers final yr.

The enterprise division, BEIS, which commissioned the evaluate, launched a listing of the worst excuses for gender imbalance given by companies.

These embrace strategies that women didn’t need the “hassle or pressure” of sitting on a high board, that “all the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up” and that “we have one woman already on the board, so we are done.”

The Hampton-Alexander Review has challenged all massive listed companies to be certain that not less than a 3rd of their board members and management are women by 2020.

The quantity of women on boards basically has greater than doubled within the FTSE 350 since 2011, in accordance to statistics from November 2017.

But Andrew Griffiths, enterprise minister, mentioned some of the excuses in opposition to additional progress had been “shocking”. “Our most successful companies are those that champion diversity…we are determined that everyone has an equal opportunity to reach the top,” he mentioned.

Sir Philip mentioned: “We used to hear these excuses regularly a few years ago, thankfully much less so now. However, leaders expressing warm words of support but actually doing very little to appoint women into top jobs — or quietly blocking progress — are really not much better.”

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