In 2011, an independent government review recommended that all UK FTSE 100 companies aim to have at least 25% of their board members be female by 2015.

Three years on from that date, and with International Women’s Day just around the corner, serviced apartments provider SilverDoor have carried out research into the FTSE 100 to see just how many companies have met that recommendation.

They looked at publically available information for each of the current FTSE 100 companies to see what ratio of male to female board members they had, as well as whether they had a woman as either CEO, founder or MO.

While the research did show that 72% of the companies did meet the recommendation, on the whole, it doesn’t make great reading for women aspiring to make it in business.

For example, just one company out of the hundred that were looked at achieved a 50-50 men to women split, with none having more women than men.

And while a decent amount had achieved the 25% recommendation, the average ratio of female board members still sits only slightly higher than this (28.93%).

And while there are more women slowly appearing on boards, the next challenge is ensuring that they have a voice.

For example, three of the 100 companies analysed only had one female board member and just 8% of them had a female as their founder, CEO or MO, with just over a third having a woman in an executive role, which raises the worrying idea that some women are either being appointed as token gestures, or are simply not being able to have an impact in an otherwise male-dominated boardrooms.

Breaking things down by industry, it’s property development (19.09%), gambling (20%) and distribution and outsourcing (22.22%) which performed the worst, but business support (37.73%), retail (34.34%) and IT, entertainment and tech (30.65%) which did the best.

Perhaps more interestingly though, areas which have traditionally struggled to attract female employees, such as manufacturing and construction and chemicals, pharmaceuticals and healthcare actually both achieved above the 25% recommendation (30.39% and 30.43% respectively).

So, what does the research tell us?

It seems that while there is progress taking place, it’s certainly not improving at the rate that the 2011 review would have hoped, and many companies have a long way to go before achieving equality.

You check out the full findings of the research in the infographic below.

The FTSE 100 Boardroom Gender Gap
An infographic by SilverDoor Apartments

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