Changing the Face of Leadership

24 February 2021

Number of women on FTSE boards up by 50 per cent in just five years

Today, the fifth and final report from the Hampton-Alexander Review was published.

The Hampton-Alexander Review was an independent, voluntary and business-led initiative supported by UK Government to increase the representation of women in senior leadership positions and on boards of FTSE 350 Companies, from 2016-2020.

The scope of the Review covered over 23,000 leadership roles in Britain’s largest listed companies, covering the board and two leadership layers below the board, making the UK’s voluntary approach to improving women’s representation at the top table, arguably the biggest and most ambitious of any country.

Number of women on FTSE 350 boards has risen from 682 to 1026 in five years

FTSE 100, 250 and 350 all reached target of women making up 33% of boards by the end of 2020. Culture change at the top is paving the way for greater gender parity across business with women’s representation in wider senior leadership also rising. Hampton-Alexander Review CEO, Denise Wilson said:

“The lack of women in the boardroom is where it all started a decade ago, and it’s the area where we have seen the greatest progress. But now, we need to achieve the same - if not more - gains for women in leadership.”

Executive Search - Partners in Change

The final report states that there is no doubt that the executive search community has a critical part to play in the selection process and working together with clients, has been a major driver of progress.

Friisberg has a long established success in helping appoint women candidates to a wide range of business and public boards. This is important given the significant reach of many of these boards generates a critical ripple effect across boards in a wide range of sectors and positions of influence.

We work with our clients to ensure talent is evaluated on a level playing field.

We ensure that briefs are drawn as widely as possible, which prevents candidates with the appropriate skills and attributes being unintentionally ‘written out’ at an early stage.

We offer support and guidance to staff, and clients alike, on how to evaluate different work and life experiences with the more traditional career paths, and on the power of bias in the process, and final appointment stage.

As we look to build back better from the pandemic, it’s important businesses keep challenging themselves to use all the talents of our workforce and open up the top ranks for more, highly-accomplished women.



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