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Nearly half of FTSE 350 board roles must go to women to meet Government's 2020 targets

Ayesha Javed
About 40pc of all board appointments must go to women in the next two years for the FTSE 350 to achieve the 33pc target

Nearly half of all new FTSE 350 board appointments in next two years must be female to meet government-backed targets.

At the halfway point of the Hampton-Alexander Review, a diversity study backed by the Government, 29pc of FTSE 100 board positions were held by women, up from 12.5pc in 2011, according to an update published today. The Government has backed a target of 33pc of board positions going to women by 2020, but the study warned that FTSE 350 companies may fall short.

The review found that about 40pc of all available appointments must go to women in the next two years for the FTSE 350 to achieve the 33pc target.

The study found that a quarter of FTSE 350 board positions are held by women, but there are still 10 all-male boards within the group of listed companies.

Companies named and shamed for having all-male boards include Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct and aviation infrastructure business Stobart Group, whose former chief executive went on a sexist rant about a female boss, leaked emails seen by The Daily Telegraph revealed last week.

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Sir Philip Hampton, chairman of the Hampton-Alexander Review, said: "Far too many companies still have no women – or only one woman – on their board."

On the Beach, TBC Bank Group, JP Morgan Japanese Investment Trust, Baillie Gifford Japan Trust, Daejan Holdings, Herald Investment Trust, Integrafin Holdings and Ti Fluid Systems were the other companies singled out for lack of female board representation.

Victoria Atkins, the Minister for Women, said: “Women are good for business: they bring valuable perspectives and experiences to the decision-making process. FTSE 350 companies need to do their bit and accelerate progress. There is no excuse for having an all-male board.”

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The joint statement from the Department of Business, Education and Industrial Strategy, Government Equalities Office, Ms Atkins and Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said that the “shocking explanations from sexist FTSE bosses for not appointing women to their boards… showed that some companies are still refusing to move with the times”.