Gender Diversity – The Facts

Published: 16 August 2016

The controversial comments around gender diversity made in Business Insider by Kevin Roberts, the executive Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, were disappointing to read.  At least there was a swift reaction by Publicis (Saatchi’s parent company) to put him on leave.  However, with acceptance of views like his the business world will never change. 

People are obviously entitled to their own opinions but to say there isn’t a problem just isn’t true, and it’s prompted me to highlight some of the facts and figures around this topic:

  • The percentage of women in FTSE 100 boardrooms currently stands at 26.1%.  
  • There are currently only four female Chairs throughout the FTSE 100: Land Securities, Shire, St. James’s Place and Provident Financial.
  • Only five FTSE 250 companies have 50% women on their boards: Grainger, Halfords Group, JPMorgan, Renewables Infrastructure Group and Woodford Patient Capital Trust.
  • Women hold only 19.4% of Executive Committee roles, and they are more likely to be functional roles, rather than operational and C-suite ones.
  • There are 15 FTSE 250 companies with no women on boards. 
  • Women currently comprise only 30% of the House of Commons.
  • The average gap between earnings of men and women stands at 23%.

Beneath are some interesting reads and groups that further expand on this topic.

It’s important for people to be educated on this.  It’s not just Kevin Roberts who doesn’t understand that diversity is a problem.  Recently I was speaking with a good friend who shocked me as he didn’t understand what the fuss was about and he certainly didn’t know any of the facts I’ve quoted.  I’m sure many more people think this way but it doesn’t have to be like this.  It is only through continuously educating, pushing forward and reminding people of these facts that we can change the status quo.

Jane Firth is a Consultant in the HR Practice at Berwick Partners 

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