The Female FTSE Board Report 2020, published by Cranfield School of Management and EY, which looks at trends in female representation on FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 boards each year, has found that the record number of women on boards is failing to translate into genuine equality in senior roles. Despite significant progress in the number of non-executive directors on FTSE 100 boards (where women now account for a record 40.8% of non-executive directors), the increase in the number of executive positions being awarded to women remained “stubbornly low”. Less than one in seven executive director roles (13.2%) were held by women, with women filling just five out of 100 chief executive roles in June 2020. Women fared worse in the FTSE 250, where they held 11.3% of executive director roles.
COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse gender equality progress and notes that the unequal burden of care placed on working women during the lockdown was likely to exacerbate existing gender inequalities and the gender pay gap as the report warns.