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17 more women needed as FTSE 100 directors to hit the 25% target



With head of retail banking at Lloyds Alison Brittain becoming chief executive of Costa Coffee and Whitbread, the UK is on track to meet the 25% target of female board directors set by the government by the end of the year.

Alison Brittain – who has had a long and successful career in the banking sector – is the FTSE 100’s sixth female boss to be appointed.

Whitbread chairman Richard Baker said, “Alison has vast experience in successfully managing multi-site operations with leading brands. She has a natural ability to inspire and motivate large teams to deliver great service, and her strong personal belief in the importance of putting the customer at the heart of the business makes her a perfect fit with our culture and values.”

With this appointment, the UK still needs 17 women to become chief executive of the 100 largest companies by the end of the year, to achieve the government’s 25% target set to boost the number of female directors.

Figures from October last year revealed the number of women on FTSE 100 boards had reached an all-time high. However, many noted that they were rarely given executive roles.

According to data from the Professional Boards Forum, female executive directors in FTSE 100 companies account for 8.6%, while there has been an increase to 28.5% of women as non-executive directors.

In the FTSE 250 companies, the percentage of female executive directors is just 4.6%.

The Financial Times argues that the UK is likely to miss its target, noting that more than half of FTSE 100 groups has less than 25% women in the boardroom.

Photo: mirianpastor via Flickr


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Further reading:

Government considers all-female shortlists for FTSE 100 companies

UK must ‘solve the culture challenge’ to truly close gender pay gap

Number of women on FTSE 100 board above 20% for first time

Global gender gap getting narrower, as women seek equal footing

Number of women on FTSE 100 boards reaches all-time high