Diversity: UK ranks among top globally for women in leadership positions

Nearly two in five top executive boardroom positions are now held by women, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), comes after the publication of the Hampton-Alexander and Davies Reviews.

According to the report, almost 40 per cent of UK FTSE 100 board positions are now held by women, increasing from just 12.5 per cent in 2012.

It means that the UK now ranks second in the international rankings for women’s representation on the boards of the largest publicly listed companies.

The Women Leaders Review – which monitors women’s representation in 24,000 leadership positions – also shows that representation has increased across the FTSE 250 and FTSE 350, rising to 36.8 per cent and 37.6 per cent, respectively.

Women in chair roles also increased across the board, rising from 39 in 2020 to 48 in 2022, while the number of “one and done” boards – defined as boards with just one woman in a leadership position – fell to six.

Commenting on the figures, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “UK businesses have made enormous progress in recent years to ensure that everyone, whatever their background, can succeed on merit – and today’s findings highlight this with more women at the top table of Britain’s biggest companies than ever before.

“However, we should not rest on our laurels, and the FTSE Women Leaders Review will build on the success so far of our voluntary, business-led approach to increasing women’s representation on boards and in leadership, without the need for mandatory quotas.”

Access the February 2022 FTSE Women Leaders Review.

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