Saturday 10 November 2018 10:59 am

New report will urge FTSE bosses to bolster number of women on their boards or risk being accused of tokenism

Sport and Business Reporter at City AM. Email:

Sport and Business Reporter at City AM. Email:

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Next week around 75 firms in the FTSE-350 will be challenged as to the number of women on their boards, with concerns that many are not taking gender diversity seriously enough. 

The Hampton-Alexander review is expected to highlight that as many as 75 companies only have one female board member and risk being accused of tokenism amid calls for increased diversity, according to Sky News

GlaxoSmithKline chairman, Sir Philip Hampton, is chairing the review, which on Tuesday will draw attention to the scarcity of female chairs, senior independent directors and chairs of boardroom committees in the UK's leading companies.

In the FTSE-350 there are just 22 women who chair major public companies, while 328 are chaired by men. That figure drops further to just seven female chairs when looking at the FTSE-100. 

The report will be the latest in the Hampton-Alexander review, which is named after Sir Philip and boardroom heavyweight, Dame Helen Alexander, who died last year. 

This latest update is set to claim good progress towards its target of making sure that women will make up at least one third of boardrooms by 2020. 

However, it will also warn against complacency, with the proportion of women on FTSE-350 executive committees having only risen modestly over the last 12 months.