Gender equality for the many, not the few?
23 November 2018 #Other
Earlier this month, the Government published its latest report showing the representation of women on the boards of FTSE 350 companies.
The report shows a rise above 30% representation on FTSE 100 boards and a rise to 26.7% of representation across FTSE 350 boards. However, it also shows that the number of female CEOs and female executive directors have fallen and that, overall, companies are not on track to meet the government target of 33% of FTSE 350 boards being women by 2020.
It is likely that some of the progress made is the result of companies taking steps to improve the gender balance in their boardrooms in preparation for the April 2018 deadline to publish their gender pay gap but clearly more needs to be done.
The Minister for Women and Equalities stated that the Government Equalities Office (GEO) needs to focus on women in low-paid and low skill jobs. GEO research has confirmed that women are more likely to be in low paid jobs and far more likely to get stuck in these - 30% of women who were in low-paid jobs in 2006 were stuck in low pay a decade later (key drivers for this include the fact that women still shoulder the great majority of childcare and family commitments).
While this obviously directly affects more women, there should be no reason why the government cannot also maintain its focus on gender inequality in the boardroom at the same time.
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