Covid Is Slowing U.K.’s Progress in Promoting Women Executives

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The global pandemic has slowed down the U.K.’s progress in promoting women executives, potentially adding years to the fight for gender parity.

According to a report by diversity consultancy The Pipeline, executive committees at FTSE 350 companies won’t achieve gender parity until 2036 at the current rate of change. That’s an extra four years than the group had previously predicted.

“Unpicking generations of inequality takes time. There are still various barriers standing in the way of women progressing, particularly in roles responsible for profit and loss,” said Amanda Blanc, chief executive officer of Aviva Plc in the report. “But, parity is genuinely possible.”

The report criticized the U.K. for failing to elevate women to senior roles, despite data that shows companies with a gender balance are more profitable. Women account for only 5% of CEOs at FTSE 350 companies, “continuing the sad familiar trend of previous years,” the group wrote.

Men make up 78% of all executive committee roles, compared with just 22% for women, the consultancy said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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