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Eversheds comment: Real change in boardroom requires tackling diversity in executive appointments

  • United Kingdom
  • Global

    22-03-2016

    Commenting on news that the Equality and Human Rights Commission will announce today that FTSE 100 firms have hit targets for increasing the proportion of women in the boardroom but largely by appointing them to non-executive posts, Simon Rice-Birchall, partner at Eversheds says:

    "The pressure on listed companies to address the gender imbalance on boards is not going to lift any time soon. Initially the focus was on the largest firms but now the spotlight is broadening to cover the FTSE 250. It is clear that parachuting women into non-executive posts is not enough: real change means tackling diversity in executive appointments too. This is a more challenging proposition for many companies, requiring them to scrutinise what it is that is preventing women from progressing to senior levels and what they can do about it.

    "It is not just listed companies that are facing the heat. From 2018 employers with more than 250 employees will have to publish data showing the gender split amongst their highest paid staff as well as reporting their overall gender pay gap. The government hopes that by exposing employers to public scrutiny, those with few women in senior positions will look critically at whether they are doing enough to attract, develop, retain and promote talented employees."

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