Breaking the glass ceiling

Breaking the glass ceiling

Britain will benefit from more women at the top of business. Women at the top can help change wider business cultures ensure women thrive throughout working life. 

Currently less than 24% of FTSE 100 board members are women - but when you look at the big decision-makers – the executive board members – the statistics are even worse. There are just 24 women holding such roles in the FTSE 100 – less than 9% of the total.

This hurts us all: a major study by Grant Thornton showed businesses without women in senior decision-making positions underperform, costing the UK economy billions. 

Targets have been used to drive uptake of women at board level but it isn’t working fast enough, and it isn’t ensuring women take up key decision-making positions either. Without a new drive for change, there isn’t a substantial “pipeline” of senior experienced women ready to take on board-level posts in the coming years.

WE will require all listed companies to have a balanced board and executive committee within 10 years. And WE expect progress every year towards this goal: therefore by 2020, 40% of all executive committee and board posts should be taken by women.

Why wait ten years?

With 10 years’ notice businesses will have time to invest in nurturing a large number of women towards board level. WE believe the businesses which will be successful are those which:

  • change the working practices that drive women away from the leadership career path
  • mentor and sponsor women with board potential and 
  • change the way they recruit to drive out unconscious bias

And these changes will benefit all women in the workplace.

Donate to back our campaign for 50-50 boards.



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