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When Will Women Be Equal In The Workplace?

  • March 08, 2022
When Will Women Be Equal In The Workplace?

In recent news it has been found that nearly 40% of board positions in the UK’s highest listed companies are held by women (being just 12.5% 10 years ago).

This is great news for women to celebrate, though it is not 50/50 there are clear signs showing that this is a statistic that is very achievable and is possibly soon to come.

Not only this news but the Government have reported that the UK has now jumped up from fifth to second in the international rankings at FTSE 100 level - stats that group the country’s top 100 public companies.

Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, stated how "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, this positive news only reaches so far.

Yes women have 40% of board positions in these top companies, but how many women are in leader roles?

Only 18 women across the top 350 public companies in the UK are chief executives. This is a tiny amount, this is not even 20% of the companies having women in these top positions.

This has led to criticism of the Government’s push for equality in the workplace only revolving around boardroom positions rather than in management roles.

The new data also found that only one in three leadership roles were held by women and around 25% of all executive committee roles.

The Government’s push for equality included putting targets on companies to hit 33% of women in board positions but this is still not being met by a lot of companies.

So although there has been a lot of progress being made in the effort to let women be seen in the higher up positions of companies, there is still a long way to go.

Although these targets were put out 7 years ago, Liz Truss (minister for women and equalities) stated that the government "will shortly put forward a range of measures to advance equality for women at work, increasing opportunity, and tackling the issues that are holding women back as we look to ensure that everyone can reach their full potential”.

These new targets set out to have the 350 FTSE boards leadership teams should now have at least 40% female representation by the end of 2025. It also sets out to have at least one woman in the chair, senior independent director role on the board, or one woman in the chief executive or chief financial officer role by the same year.

This is pushed even further wherein there is a suggestion that the Government may even target the private sector to follow suit, with the future expansion of these findings to include the 50 largest private UK companies too.