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Women Count 2019


Despite the Government setting a target of 33% women in leadership roles at FTSE 350 companies by 2020, and despite a flow of formal reviews, our results show this has been little to no progress. The Pipeline’s fourth consecutive, independent report of the FTSE 350 found that:

Lord O'Neill

If Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, would they have precipitated the same credit crunch and subsequent banking crisis? Having men and women at the top table makes Boards and Executive Committees smarter and leads to better decision making. Today, we are in a “productivity recession” with three successive quarters of negative growth. If we continue to exclude half the population from decision-making roles in our leading companies it’s hard to see how we dig ourselves out of this very big hole. Women Count 2019 shows that the proportion of women on Boards and Executive teams is a good indicator for profitability. Taking this into account when investment decisions are made is now long overdue.

— Lord O'Neill, British Economist, Chair of Chatham House and former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Call to Action

We call on (hover for more detail):

Across the globe, it's still a man's world

The inability of the UK’s major businesses to appoint and develop female talent into the most senior positions is, sadly, mirrored in countries across the world. It is an international problem.

Currently, only 6% of FTSE 100 CEOs are women, an extremely low level of achievement. For companies listed on each major domestic stock exchange, in India (Nifty 50) and Germany (DAX 30) there are no women CEOs, whilst in China (SSE 50), Hong Kong (HSI 50), the USA (Dow 30), Spain (IBEX 35) and France (CAC 40) there is only one woman CEO running big businesses in each country. It seems that across the world, familiar problems and barriers remain for talented businesswomen.

around the globe

Industry Insights

Penny James

Often women won’t naturally push themselves forward and as we progress through our careers, it’s important that we are challenged and supported in equal measure. As a company we recognise that to enable women to fulfil their potential, we need to offer support throughout their different career stages. Diversity and inclusion should not simply be a target and a page in the annual report, it’s vital for the success of the business and when the Board and Executive Committee support that, it massively enables and accelerates the chances of progress. I am proud of what we have achieved so far but we need to do more to tackle the gap. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it will make for a better and more successful business.

— Penny James, CEO, Direct Line Group

Our Recommendations

Juergen Maier

The Pipeline’s Women Count 2019 report confirms everything my own career in business has taught me about people, culture and success. It provides hard evidence that promoting more women isn’t just ‘the right thing to do’ – it produces measurable returns. This is essential reading for all businesses that want to innovate and grow. Siemens continues to strengthen its position as a world-leading business because our people have the richest range of experience from as many viewpoints and backgrounds as possible.

— Juergen Maier, CEO, Siemens UK

Direct Line Group’s Inclusion Journey