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A Long Way to Go: Of 100 Top UK Firms, Only 6 Female CEOs

Gender equality in leadership has a long way to go.

A government-backed report revealed that only 6 women in 100 of the biggest companies in the UK hold the position of CEO. According to Gwen Rhys, founder of Women in the City, it’s “disappointing” we’re still not seeing significant numbers of women progress to senior leadership roles.

“Companies need to take a long, hard look at their recruitment processes, engineer out blatant bias, encourage women to apply for senior roles, and give them honest feedback and opportunities to develop the experience they lack.” -Gwen Rhys

According to the Wall Street Journal, Women held 32.4% of board seats and 15% of finance chief roles at FTSE 100 firms in 2019.

One reason women may be seeing setbacks? Archaic organizational structures.

There’s a predominant and persistent idea that an ideal employee is one that can commit to traditional long-hours.

This culture of value-per-hour is one that should be questioned. We should be examining and asking ourselves- how can we develop more flexible workplace structures to enable inclusivity and diversity of leadership?

Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association, said: "Investors have been consistent in their demands for greater diversity...It's not just a nice to have. The research is clear: firms with diverse boards and management teams make better decisions, drive innovation and outperform their less diverse peers."


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