Professor Sue Vinnicombe and Dr Elena Doldor will examine the findings of their latest research about women on FTSE 350 boards and the role of targets in improving gender and ethnic diversity, before discussing the policy implications of their research with Visiting Professor, Jo Swinson.
On 24 September 2020 the Gender, Leadership and Inclusion Centre launched their new Women on Boards annual report, which analysed the current situation on gender diversity on the FTSE 350 corporate boards and examined how leading organisations are making targets work for them.
In this webinar, Sue Vinnicombe and Elena Doldor will review the progress made by women on FTSE 350 boards with a particular focus on FTSE 100 boards. They will not only look at the increases in numbers of women on boards but also the roles they play, their tenures and whether they have multiple directorships. Whilst all FTSE 350 boards have already hit the Hampton Alexander target of 33% women on boards set for the end of 2020, it is increasingly clear that women are not getting positions of influence such as Chair, SID or Committee Chair. We will discuss the implications of these findings.
The webinar will also look at the findings from a special project investigating how major organisations are making targets work for them in their pursuit of greater gender and ethnic diversity. Davies and Hampton Alexander have helped to normalize the use of diversity targets and many organisations are happy to just adopt the targets set for FTSE 350 companies, but there is still work to be done to explain that diversity targets do not compromise meritocracy, but rather enable it.
Other key points were:
- Two aspects of targets are critical; ambitiousness and accountability. The trend tends to be a target of 30%-40% women in senior leadership roles.
- There was significant variance around how organisations enforce their targets.
- Targets were seen as a tool for culture change. Targets can create scrutiny and uproot bias across key talent management processes.
- Participants raised both dangers and opportunities regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the D and I agenda. Organisations do need to address more proactively the long-term effects of the current pandemic on the pipeline of female talent.