The FTSE Women Leaders Review is the independent, business-led framework supported by Government which sets recommendations to improve the representation of women on the Boards and Leadership teams of the FTSE 350 and 50 of the UK’s largest private companies.
The Review builds on the work of the Hampton-Alexander and Davies Reviews which preceded it. It is based on a unique approach in that it is voluntary and data-led and works with business on a significant scale.
The goal has always been a simple yet important one – to improve the representation of women on Boards and in Leadership positions. Our approach is unique; the Review is led by business for the benefit of business and adopts an entirely voluntary approach, therefore avoiding quotas.
Since the start of the Review in 2011 there has been a sea-change in the gender balance of British boards from 9.5% FTSE 350 women board members in 2011, to over 42% today. FTSE 350 companies achieved the 40% women on Boards target three years ahead of the deadline, demonstrating what can be done when we work together on a shared ambition.
In 2022 we went further to expand the scope of the Review to include the UK’s Top 50 Private Companies, encouraging greater progress across British business.
The focus now is on achieving 40% women’s representation in Leadership (defined as the Executive Committee and their Direct Reports) and increasing women appointments in the ‘four key roles’ of Chair, Senior Independent Director, CEO and Finance Director, ahead of the end of 2025 target deadline.
The Review gathers data from FTSE 350 companies and private companies in scope on over 27,000 roles on boards and in leadership roles (defined as the Executive Committee and their direct reports). It adopts a voluntary approach, encouraging progress, the sharing of best practise and publishes progress against Women on Boards and Women in Leadership on an annual basis.
The Review’s Co-Chairs, Penny James and Nimesh Patel, join Chief Executive Denise Wilson and team to lead the work of the Review, supported by business sponsors, the Department of Business & Trade and the Government Equalities Hub.
To deliver gender equality on the boards and leadership teams of the FTSE 350 and 50 of the UK’s largest private companies the Review is focused on the following recommendations:
- The voluntary target for FTSE350 Boards & for FTSE 350 Leadership teams is increased to a minimum of 40% women’s representation by the end of 2025
- FTSE 350 companies should have at least one women in the Chair, Senior Independent Director role on the Board and/or one woman in the Chief Executive Officer or Finance Director role by the end of 2025
- Key stakeholders should continue to set best-practice guidelines or use alternative mechanisms to encourage any FTSE 350 Board that has not yet achieved the previous 33% target for the end of 2020, to do so
- The scope of the Review is extended beyond FTSE 350 companies to include the largest 50 private companies in the UK by sales. The full list of private companies included in the 2022/2023 Review was announced in our press release on 1 November 2022.