Fashion Roundtable have shared data previously on the gender pay gap and lack of diversity across industries including fashion. Women Count 2018 is a detailed analysis of the role of women executives for companies within the FTSE 350 at 19th April 2018.
With gender diversity now accepted as a powerful tool in helping to achieve better decision-making and improved business performance, whilst also satisfying the wishes of customers and investors, this report is an important contribution to understanding where Britain’s major businesses stand. It makes for stark reading with 0 increase in the percentage of women on executive committees in the FTSE 350 over the past 3 years.
The lack of women in such senior positions is alarming, but the issue becomes even more alarming when looking at the roles performed by women who do achieve promotion to executive committees. In 2018 a substantial 63% of FTSE 350 companies had no women executive committee members in crucial Profit & Loss (P&L) roles, growing from 61% in 2017. In 2018, 95% of all P&L roles on executive committees in the FTSE 350 are held by men, and only 5% by women. This is important as these are springboard jobs for advancement to CEO. In the entire FTSE 350, only 7 companies have more than 1 woman executive director on the main board.
This lack of gender diversity is not only deeply worrying, as the report has not even touched on ethnic diversity amongst these women it also highlights that a lack of any women at the top of these companies is literally bad for business. FTSE350 companies with no women on their executive committee only achieve a net profit margin5 of 8.9%, whereas the figure soars by 5%, to 13.9% in businesses with at least 25% women at this level.
Britain’s businesses and the country are missing out on a bumper pay day because of their lack of progress in getting women into the positions they deserve. If all FTSE 350 companies were to perform at the same level as those with women on their executive committees, the impact would be a £13 billion gender dividend for the country. On top of a gender pay gap costing the UK £150bn a year, resolving these two issues alone would off-set universal childcare, the Brexit divorce payout and would boost our economy markedly more than the £42.6bn UK Government borrowing in the 2017-18 financial year.