While some progress has been made to breaking down near total male control and dominance of our top companies, the move towards greater gender equality at the top end of the economy is slowing, and today almost a 100 out of the top FTSE 250 companies still have only 1 woman on the board.
It would seam that for the leaders of our most powerful companies, promoting women is still a bit of a pain in the male ass, at least according to the recent government backed Hampton-Alexander Review of the attitudes of the Chairs and CEOs of Britain’s 350 FTSE 350 companies…
Some of the worst reasons for not appointing more women to the boards of the top companies included:
- ‘There aren’t that many women with the right credentials and depth of experience to sit on the board – the issues covered are extremely complex’
- ‘Most women don’t want the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board’
- ‘Shareholders just aren’t interested in the make-up of the board, so why should we be?’
- ‘My other board colleagues wouldn’t want to appoint a woman on our board’
- ‘I don’t think women fit comfortably into the board environment’
NB – these are my own rankings, I’ve gone with order because of the following logic:
- Based on the assumption that women are less capable of dealing with complexity than men.
- Based on stereotype of the ‘delicate female’.
- Based on the ‘denial of responsibility’ – ‘we’re not appointing because other people don’t want it’.
- Denial of responsibility again.
- We shouldn’t appoint women because there aren’t any women already. You might actually want to rank this first, because it also suggests that ‘women can’t handle unpleasant environments’.