Wednesday 9 January 2019 12:21 pm

Female representation on company boards lagging two years behind target date

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering retail and property.

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering retail and property.

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Female representation on company boards is lagging behind as it was revealed it could take a further two years to hit a 30 per cent target.

MSCI’s Women on Boards report found that at the current pace the 30 per cent representation goal will not be reached until 2029, which is two years later than was projected in 2015.

Increased female representation at the chief executive level “continues to be very slow” and has gone slightly backwards in 2018, according to analysis of companies on the global equity index MSCI ACWI.

The report said: “Global progress towards equal gender representation on corporate boards continues to slowly inch forward, with women filling directorships at a slower rate than we projected under our Business as Usual scenario in 2015, even after the increased emphasis and additional advocacy for this change during that time…

“Although overall progress towards reaching gender equality at the board and senior leadership levels has been slow, in 2019, there are still signs that there are significant shifts underway in many markets.”

As of October last year, only 43 companies out of the 2694 members of the MSCI ACWI Index had boards consisting of at least half women.

Around 21 per cent of companies in the MSCI ACWI Index still had all male boards as of October 16, 2018, most of which were located in Asia, particularly Japan, China and South Korea.

The UK and Spain were the only countries in the top ten to meaningfully increase the proportion of companies with three or more women on their boards, with an increase of 7.3 per cent and 6.2 per cent respectively.