View more on these topics

FTSE bosses make ‘pitiful’ excuses for lack of women in boardrooms

Leading executives at some of Britain’s top firms have been described as using “pitiful and patronising” excuses for not promoting more women to corporate boards.

According to a Government-backed review of gender balance in the FTSE 350, sexist bosses believe businesswomen “don’t fit in” at board level and “don’t want the hassle” of top quality jobs.

Business minister Andrew Griffiths says: “It’s shocking that some businesses think these pitiful and patronising excuses are acceptable reasons to keep women from the top jobs.

“Our most successful companies are those that champion diversity.”

The explanations were heard by the team behind the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review, which has challenged all FTSE 350 companies to make sure at least a third of their board members are women by 2020.

According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the explanations include:

  1. “I don’t think women fit comfortably into the board environment”
  2. “There aren’t that many women with the right credentials and depth of experience to sit on the board – the issues covered are extremely complex”
  3. “Most women don’t want the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board”
  4. “Shareholders just aren’t interested in the make-up of the board, so why should we be?”
  5. “My other board colleagues wouldn’t want to appoint a woman on our board”
  6. “All the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up”
  7. “We have one woman already on the board, so we are done – it is someone else’s turn”
  8. “There aren’t any vacancies at the moment – if there were I would think about appointing a woman”
  9. “We need to build the pipeline from the bottom – there just aren’t enough senior women in this sector”
  10. “I can’t just appoint a woman because I want to”

Legal & General Investment management director of corporate governance Sacha Sadan says: “As a major investor in the UK we see diversity as a key business issue. LGIM has been active in the diversity debate since 2011, and has been voting against all male boards since 2015.

“Boards made up of just men, from the same socio-economic backgrounds, cannot be the optimal forum for challenging debates.

“Although we have seen good progress at non-executive level there is still much more to do on the senior leadership pipeline. Therefore we continue to encourage companies to tap into the whole talent pool.”

Companies with more than 250 employees were recently forced to publish their gender pay gap figures by the Government.

The figures proved to be embarrassing for many firms in the advice and investment sectors which pride themselves on diversity and has forced them to finally confront the problem of pay disparity head on.



Just 17% of adviser websites list fees, study finds

Only 17 per cent of adviser websites mention their fees, new analysis has shown, reigniting debates over online disclosure. Of the 300 firms assessed by adviser marketing firm The Yardstick Agency, only  just five gave sufficient detail to tell clients what fees they would be likely to pay. The results are down from last year, […]

Carey Pensions up for sale as losses grow

Carey Pensions has put itself up for sale as it reports losses for the second year in a row. According to its annual accounts published last week losses have risen due to a number of legal cases relating to some historic business that is now being wound down. In 2016 the embattled Sipp provider recorded […]

Spotlight on charges 700x450.jpg

SJP defends report claiming its charges are mid-range

St James’s Place has defended the findings of a report that shows how its charges stack up against those of its peers. Advisers questioned the methodology behind the Grant Thornton Adviser Charges Report, which is not publicly available but was published in part in SJP’s 2017 results. Money Marketing obtained a condensed version of the […]

Survey cover

EEF/Jelf Employee Benefits Sickness Absence Survey 2015

EEF stated in its 2015 EEF Manifesto that the UK’s growth prospects depend on people being fit, working and productive. Keeping people in work and helping people return to work is very important for the manufacturing sector. It means boosting productivity by getting people back into work as early as is possible, as well as fostering workplace cultures and environments that proactively manage individuals’ health conditions so that all can benefit from lower sickness absence outcomes.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Duncan Gafney 31st May 2018 at 9:22 am

    True equality, is about providing equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome and as such cannot be measured by the numbers of people at any level within any particular organisation.

    Neither can it be measured by equality of pay, as this utterly ignores areas such as hours worked, commitment to the business, qualifications, experience.

    Men and women on average tend to make very different life choices and this is the vast majority of the reason why we see these differences.

    The only criteria ever used to decide who should be employed to do any role is “who is the best person for that job”.

    What their sex, sexuality, race, religion or any other factor should be 100% irrelevant.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm