A government-backed review has concluded that FTSE 100 boardrooms must have at least 33% women in their executive pipeline positions by 2020.
The independent review, headed by Sir Philip Hampton, Chair of GlaxoSmithKline and Dame Helen Alexander, Chair of UBM, had been tasked to press ahead with proposals to ensure talented women in senior managerial roles are recognised, promoted and rewarded.
Some 25% of FTSE 100 boardroom positions are currently filled by women. There are 20 FTSE 100 companies that have at least a third of their pipeline made up of women, while there are 12 executive committees with no women on them.
Sir Philip Hampton and Dame Helen Alexander said: “It is clear that the voluntary business-led framework to improve the number of women at the top of British business is working and it is time to extend the focus beyond the boardroom
“We don’t under-estimate the challenge the new voluntary target presents for many FTSE companies. However, we are encouraged by the breadth of experienced women ready and willing to step up, the significant efforts underway in many companies on this agenda and the ability of British business to work together to bring about change when it is needed.”
While the report is focusing on female leaders just below board level of FTSE 100 companies, the CIPD is calling on talent to be recognised at all levels of business.
Laura Harrison, people and strategy director at CIPD commented: “Building a senior female executive talent pipeline will not happen without nurturing and progressing female talent at every level of the organisation. We need organisations to be thinking about progression opportunities at every stage of women's careers. Less than half of organisations currently monitor gender diversity at all levels.
“To make real progress, companies need to monitor and understand how women are being recruited, developed and promoted, how many are leaving and from what roles and functions as well as how many women are returning from maternity leave. Only then can they put in place a meaningful and inclusive talent strategy to progress women.”