The UK’s biggest businesses are lagging European competitors on diversity with women still taking up less than a third of board seats, according to an influential annual update.
According to new data from Deloitte, only 30.1 per cent of UK board positions are held by women compared to 43.2 per cent in France and 42.4 per cent in Norway.
The UK made it into the top 10 of global rankings for the first time, however, with progress slow but consistent.
The report suggests the UK could reach ‘gender parity’ by 2027.
The annual update is led by the 30 per cent club, headed by the executive vice chair of Mastercard Ann Cairns.
“Business is better when it is led by the best and brightest minds from both halves of the global talent pool,” she said yesterday.
The report’s authors found that a smaller group of women are taking on a large number of board seats, which they referred to as the “stretch factor.”
“This speaks to the fact that women have a harder time being appointed if they don’t have previous board experience. Chairs and CEOs should be encouraged to give women their first board seat,” said Cairns.
Although the proportion of women on FTSE 100 boards has tripled in the past 12 years, there are still only 15 women board chairs and eight chief execs in the group: an increase of just one in the past three years.