Global diversity in the boardroom still has a long way to go

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Global diversity in the boardroom still has a long way to go

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Women account for only 20.7% of board position in the UK FTSE 100

board room diversityA new report on global diversity in the boardroom from INAC, the International Network of Executive Search Consultancies, has found that while progress on the gender divide is being made – only 5% of the CEOs of the world’s largest corporations are women.

The recent publication of the latest “Women on Boards” report has thrown the issue of workplace diversity right back into the spotlight. This Government’s initiative started back in 2011 when firms were told to more than double the number of ‘Women on Boards’ by 2015, or face Government measures. Since then there does seem to have been progress with the latest report showing that women account for 20.7% of board positions in the FTSE 100, an increase from 12.5% in 2011 and 17.3% in April 2013.

In the UK, much has been made of the latest Women on Boards Davies Review Report which boasts that, “Representation of women on FTSE 100 boards now stands at 23.5%, with 18% women’s representation on FTSE 250 boards. British business is well on its way to achieving the 25% target by the end of the year.” However, this is an average figure across executive and non-executive directors with only 8.6% of executive director positions held by women.

Gender Equality Across the Globe

In the US, which could feasibly see a female President in the not too distant future, only 17% of Fortune 500 board seats are held by women. In Latin America, only 28% of companies have a gender equality policy at executive level. In Australia, while there are no formal targets, almost a quarter of directors the top 50 ASX listed companies are female and every single one has female directors on the board.

There were some interesting anomalies. Turkey is among the top 15 countries in the world for female board members although it still fell behind its European counterparts when it came to the percentage of women participating in the workforce.

This was due mainly to the high number of female entrepreneurs running micro businesses. And while Norway is often seen as one of the most progressive countries, having implemented boardroom quotas in 2003, the number of female CEOs in the region is still very small.

The report, which came out of INAC’s recent global conference in Bogota, outlines the different approaches and thinking on boardroom gender diversity, from a range of organisations and countries citing research from thought leaders in the executive search area, government and academia.

Read the latest report now to discover the current global situation on board diversity.

Image courtesy of Surachai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

INAC Gender Report Download