Rising number of FTSE bosses from Whitbread to Sky sign up to 30% Club's women in leadership drive

Rebecca Smith
Royal Mail's Moya Greene was among the first to sign up
Royal Mail's Moya Greene was among the first to sign up (Source: Getty)

A rising number of bosses across some of Britain's biggest companies are signing up to an initiative seeking to bolster female representation in their senior leadership teams.

The 30% Club said today that since it wrote to FTSE 350 chief executives in August urging them to set a target of 30 per cent female representation in their senior leadership teams by 2020, businesses are slowly coming on board.

At that time, just two FTSE 100 chief executives had fully committed to the senior management target: Mark Wilson at Aviva and Moya Greene at Royal Mail - before it was demoted to the FTSE 250. Two FTSE 250 members had too, Stephen Koseff at Investec and Preben Prebensen of Close Brothers Group.

Read more: Two-thirds of the UK's gender pay gap "cannot be explained"

Now there are 30 FTSE 100 bosses, and 28 FTSE 250 chief executives committed to the campaign goals.

Brenda Trenowden, 30% Club global chair and head of FIG, Europe, ANZ Bank, said:

The 30% Club campaign has always been about women and men working together to drive better gender balance in their organisations because it makes good business sense.

She added: "Many have been working on this for some time and some have already reached the goal. We would encourage those not yet signed up to get in touch with us so that we can work together to help drive the change that we all want to achieve."

Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe is among those who have signed up. He said: "As one of the UK's largest employers, we're committed to providing equal opportunities to all our colleagues. 30% of our board and 30% of our divisional directors are female and we're taking active steps to meet this target across our entire senior management team."

The government put new reporting regulations in place in April 2017, requiring companies with more than 250 employees, to publicly disclose the size of their gender pay gap.

So far, just over 700 of around 9,000 firms that need to publish their gender pay gap information have done so ahead of the April deadline.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned that firms failing to comply could face unlimited fines and convictions.

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